SO…. In the last couple of months, along with writing up my Colorado Trail journal, I have been busy ordering food, supplies, and gear for my trip, portioning and packaging everything up into ziplocks, making a spreadsheet of where I will be stopping to pick up my resupply boxes, and packing up over 35 boxes (some places need multiple boxes!).
It has been quite a monumental task! At times, it was overwhelming, but overall, I maintained a good feeling of control and calm, thanks to my yoga.
On Saturday, I loaded up my car and brought all of the boxes to Ham and Brian’s house. They will be sending the boxes to me along the trail. I am so thankful for their willingness to help me out! I am also so thankful for the support of my AT followers, as well as my new yoga friends! I feel that I am in a much better place than when I left for my Appalachian Trail hike because I have finally found people who care about me.
I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I will be in hot, sunny California in a couple of days! It has been cold, cloudy, and rainy here in Massachusetts, and as of a few weeks ago, there was still snow on the ground!
I have done no physical training for the trail, I have yet to fully even pack my backpack, and I have done far less reading about the PCT than I did about the AT. But I did the best I could with the time I had, and I am not worried about what did not get done. It will all work out just fine.
I am super excited, grateful and honored for the opportunity to teach two yoga sessions at the PCT Kick-Off weekend at the end of April! This is a weekend full of seminars on the 26th and 27th of April, where past, future, and present PCT hikers gather to connect and learn important information that is unique to this trail. It takes place at a campground that is located at mile 20.6 of the trail (Lake Morena). I plan to hike 110 miles to Warner Springs, get a ride back to Lake Morena, attend the weekend event, and get a ride back to the point at where I left off to continue my hike.
The PCT will bring a new set of challenges to me, and I am very much looking forward to this experience. I will start the hike with 700 miles in the desert with no shade and very little water (typically 20-30 miles between water sources, and maybe more this year as it is a drought year). Then, I will enter the High Sierras, which will provide different challenges with snow, ice, steep climbs, and high altitude. I’ll have to ford ice cold streams with snow-melt from the mountains, walk through mosquito hell for miles and miles (where you can’t stop for a second without being swarmed and bitten all over), then enter back into long hot, dry stretches that go on and on…. California alone is 1700 miles!
Then we enter Oregon with more mosquitoes and rain, and Washington with its cold, wet, and steep, challenging terrain.
Every day will bring a new challenge and every day will bring some type of discomfort. But meeting these challenges brings a tremendous sense of accomplishment, a feeling of incredible aliveness, and a unique set of memories each day. I will have a new home each night, meet many new people, and hopefully have the best adventure of my life so far!
Each year, there are more hikers who attempt to climb Mt. Everest than hike the entire PCT in one season. It is an incredibly grueling, long-term physical and mental feat. Day after day, we hike 20 or more miles on hot days with the sun burning down on us, in storms, through ferociously strong wind, and in cold rain and freezing temperatures. And we do this all with a heavy pack on our back, containing all of our food, water, shelter, and basic needs. Sometimes, we have to carry six liters of water at a time (12 pounds in itself), and up to 9 day stretches where we have to carry all of our food.
If you feel inspired by my journey and would like to lend your support, please consider donating to my hiking fund to help me fuel my body with real food in towns, replace gear along the way (we go through at least 5 pairs of shoes and insoles, countless socks, and a journey of this length takes its toll on gear…). Words of encouragement are also strongly appreciated. It is amazing what a bit of inspiration can do for the spirit of a hiker. And if anyone would like to send a small package or postcard along the way, please let me know, and I can send out a list of my resupply stops.
Thank you all for your support!
“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know -unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”
James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves