Most people know very little about the Pacific Crest Trail and even more have never even heard of it. This does not come as a shock to me because most people are not avid hikers.
But what sets this hiking trail apart from most others? Well, for starters, the trail is 2650 miles long, stretching from the Mexico/American border (start) to the Canada/American border (end).
2650 miles… That number is incredible to even think about. I can remember as a child riding in the car from my hometown of Spokane WA to Seattle WA to visit family members and dreading the five hours in the car. That was just sitting.
On average, it takes the average person 4.5 – 5.5 months to complete this incredible feat of strength. And when I say “average person”, average does not quite fit in this situation. Around 180 people complete this trek each year. ONLY 180. To be one of these people would be a huge accomplishment indeed!
But why do I feel such a strong pull to be one of these people? What makes me feel that I can complete a task many turn down immediately?
To be completely honest, I do not have a feeling that I want to do this trail. It is a feeling that I need to. I need to make this amazing journey through California, Oregon and Washington. I need to lace up my hiking boots, put one foot in front of the other. Over and over and over again. I need to feel my muscles ache with every step, my toes and feet crack, blister, and bleed.
Who in their right mind would ever want to wish something like that upon themselves?
The only logical answer I have for that question would be; someone who needs a change.
I have lived in Spokane WA all of my life. I had an amazing childhood with a great family that provided for me. I played sports growing up, spent most of my summer days swimming at the lake cabin and riding my dirt bike through the mountains with my cousin. But that is all I have ever known. Good ol’ Spokane WA.
Of course we went on family vacations, often time visiting Mexico with my Grandparents or getting all of my moms side together and taking a week vacation to Alaska or Yellowstone National Park. But that is all that ever was… a vacation. There was no hardship. No extreme distance walking. No fatigue that makes even the thought of standing hurt your muscles. It was all the simple life. The good life.
I want to experience something different. I want to force myself to place one foot in front of the other. I want to feel the sting of sweat in my eyes. I want to enjoy the feeling of setting up my tent each night, only to wake the next morning and continue on my journey.
But most importantly, I want to experience nature. Not the type that you climb into your car and drive a couple miles out of town and walk with your friends for three miles, only to return to the car and jump onto your cellphones, Facebook, and Instagram. I want to be away from technology. Just nature and I.
If you have never read the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, I strongly recommend you drive over to your nearest Barnes and Noble and purchase the book. Actually, I’ll make it easier for you. Here is the link to buy the book! “Wild”- Cheryl Strayed
This book is written by a woman, who at the age of 26 needed a change in her life. She was constantly depressed, and heading down a path she knew was not right for her. By chance, she heard about the Pacific Crest Trail and decided that she would take on the challenge. She did not travel the entire 2650 miles, but she did travel 1100 miles which is more than 99% of the population can say. Not only that, but she did it solo. Doing 1100 miles as a man is a lot different than doing it as a woman, and I am not talking about physique or that guys “are stronger”. Being on a trail for months by yourself in the middle of nowhere as a woman is an amazing thing to do and takes a plethora of courage, seeing as how sick this world can be sometimes.
Like my main page states, I will not be attempting this trail for another few years. That is the current plan at least. If I am lucky, maybe I will be able to go sooner! I need to first graduate and get my degree, but also need to save up my money. The trip generally costs around $4000, between the gear, food, and traveling expenses to get to the start of the trail. Add on top of that money I will need to set aside for rent, car payments, and for my parents to watch my dog while I am gone, I am looking closer to $7000
So until I make this journey, I will be steadily hiking as much as possible, training my body to be able to endure such an adventure. No amount of hiking beforehand will make me 100% prepared, but at least it will make the starting easier. I of course will be keeping a journal as I go and will also be hiking with a GoPro. I will find someone to be in charge of the blog while I am on the Pacific Crest Trail, that way they can keep everyone posted with updates on where I am and how the journey is going. It will be as if all of you are there with me as well, encouraging me forward!
So until then, let’s get to know each other better, that way that long trip together will be much less awkward… HAPPY HIKING!