Well, I guess the world may as well know: I will being thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017! Though some of my family and friends have known for a couple of months, I decided to write a letter (which I've posted below) to make the announcement to the remainder of my family. When I decided that this year was my best option for completing my PCT goal I knew that many people would have questions and difficulty understanding my motivations. "Why do you want to hike 2,600+ miles?" "Alone?!" "But what about your job?" My usual answer: "Why not?" Why not spend time intimately experiencing the country that I live in? Why not hike by myself on a well established trail that hundreds of other people hike everyday? Why not leave my part time jobs when I'm already debt free and have the savings to do so? With a capable body and logistical timing, why not take the five months to experience something that I can then think back upon with fond memories for the next 70 year?
With Christmas just around the corner I thought I ought to pass along my list for this year. As with previous years I have a theme that correlates with something that I am looking forward to or in need of (thanks again for the computer last year!). This year's theme is: The Pacific Crest Trail. I first heard about the PCT while reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed (actually, this book was a gift from Gramma & Papa in Christmas 2012), a book that follows the mis/adventures of a lady walking the trail in the 1990s. From there I was inspired to look into other hikes, which lead me to discovering, researching, and completing the Camino del Norte in summer of 2015.
|Overlooking Basque Country (northern Spain) on a foggy morning.|
Photo Credit: Haley M. Egan
On the Camino, people would ask about what hikes I wanted to do in the future. My answer was always, “I want to hike the PCT once my student loans are paid off!” And with $27,000 of debt, I had thought it would be a few more years in the future. So, after working two official part-time jobs, pet sitting (sometimes for weeks on end), picking up odd jobs, getting loads of help from Mom & Kenneth, and receiving a generous gift from Nana R., my loans are gone. And here I am. Unencumbered and well-supported by loved ones. Now I have the chance to fulfill this dream and begin create the next one to work toward.
Though I already have most of the gear that I will need for this adventure, I am still looking to purchase a quality, lightweight, warm sleeping bag. Here is the link to the one that best fits my criteria: http://zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml . In terms of details, I would like the 10 degree, slim, short (preferably in blue). If you would like to contribute smaller things here is the link to my Amazon list: xxxxxxxx Of course, I will also need a boatload of food, so any donations of jerky, tuna packets, and nuts would be lovely! Shoot me any questions that you may have about this next adventure!