Planning for the PCT
In April 2020 I will start my journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, the 2,650 miles hike that runs from Mexico to Canada. I have never done anything like this before, but thru-hiking has been on my mind for a few years ever since I watched the documentary ‘Mile, Mile and a Half’. I had never thought of long distance hiking as an artistic experience, but after that movie I started thinking about it in a whole new light. What could I create in 5 months with lightweight materials that would fit in my pack? I'm not sure when I decided on the PCT in particular...go big or go home, right?
What is the PCT?
The Pacific Crest Trail is a long distance hiking trail that runs through California, Oregon, and Washington. 2,650 miles of wilderness ready to be explored!
Leaving your life and hiking for months takes money, planning, and closure. I want to pay off my car, finish my degree, and make sure I am in a place financially where I don’t have to worry about off trail expenses or have to rush back to work once my adventure is over.
Why am I doing this?
When I share my plans with friends and family, most of them know me well enough to be incredibly supportive. Those same people also say the same thing, “But that’s 6 months of YOUR LIFE!” To which I say, yes. Yes it is. And what a wonderful way to spend it! Living simply, challenging myself physically and mentally, exploring the beauty of the west coast…it all sounds like precisely how I would like to spend 6 months of my life. I have no pets, no kids, no mortgages, and an adventurous partner who was planning to hike the trail on her own anyway. And you know what? I just want to do it. That is reason enough.
Am I scared?
Strangely, no. Not yet, at least. My only worry is that I will get hurt and won’t be able to finish the entire hike. I am not scared of the outdoors or spending months outside. I am not scared of being assaulted. I am not scared of bears, rattlesnakes, or scorpions. I am not scared of going without my everyday comforts (hot baths, clean hair, sushi restaurants). I am, however, scared of letting myself down. I will have to learn to be kinder to myself, which is something I really need to work on anyway.
But what about your stuff?
If it can’t fit in my car (which I am keeping and parking at my parent’s house), I don’t need it. I am lucky in that I have never been sentimental about my belongings, which makes downsizing impossibly easy. I will not, however, touch my Disney pin collection. That shit is sacred.
What will I do when I’m done?
Life is strange and takes us places we aren’t expecting, so I’m not setting my heart on anything just yet. My dream? Being able to work remotely (maybe from a tiny house?) so that I can travel the country and explore more gorgeous outdoor spaces with my travel nurse girlfriend.