I figure I'll jot my excitement down here to get rid of a little of my enthusiasm for this trip. So far the hardest part about this journey is waiting for it... Permit day for 2020 passed a few weeks ago and I instantly became excited for my future permit day, even though its still a year off... On top of that, I've been talking with a co-worker that took a few years off and traveled while working as a chef along the way. His words that inspired me were "Its still hard to come sit at a desk everyday" and I couldn't agree with him more. Patience is key, or so I keep telling myself.
One thing I think about often is stories. The stories we tell each other about our journeys, the stories that define who we are and the stories that capture the special moments in our lives. On the trail, most people will have a trail journal of some sort, whether its notes on their phones, keeping a blog like this or a good old fashioned book they write in at the end of everyday. I, myself, fall into the last category. In 2018 I kept a journal of all of my traveling, each day got a page and each page captured the mood and the activities of the day. It was definitely fun to go back and read, it also provided me with some sweet statics like highest point of the year, longest day, days spent traveling (146) and more. For the PCT, I intend to keep a similar journal, in fact its already sitting at home waiting to be used. I'm excited to learn and grow out there, where I end up after all this is currently a huge question mark in my head that will hopefully sort itself out. Heading into 2020 I have two goals. The first is to learn, I want to pay attention to the things that will benefit me in the long run and gain more professional training in wilderness medicine as well as glacial and snow travel. My second goal is to be more humble, both because there's a hell of a lot I don't know yet and also because I know that I can often be my biggest barrier to learning when I think I know everything...
A year has come and gone since I last visited these virtual pages and a lot has happened. CoVID-19 swept the world, it gave me unforeseen opportunities to complete other life goals, but its also made my getting a permit for 2021 uncertain. I'm hopeful that as a vaccine rolls out and people's fear begins to ease, I can get out there and finish this great journey that I set my mind to all these years also. As always, my greatest fear will continue to be, what happens at the end of this trip? What do I do once I realize a half a decade old dream? What do I do if I fail?
In 53 days I'll set foot on the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail, 2,653 miles of walking through the Mojave, over the Sierra and along the Cascades will be staring me down and I couldn't be any more excited. I got my permit back in January and its been looking at me everyday in anticipation of finally being thrown into my backpack. So far I've put in the time doing training hikes, tweaking my gear and planning logistics. I feel extremely confident in what's to come but still anxious for what's after. I quit my job last week and leapt wholeheartedly into this venture, for the first time in months my mind is peaceful, I feel calm and confident. This will probably be the last time I updated this before I starting walking so look for the first story from the trail, the first 100 miles to Warner Springs.
The PCT stands for the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,653 route extending from Mexico to Canada along the west coast of the United States. Every year several thousands attempt it and only a few hundred finish.