May 14-September 30, 2017
“All good things must come to an end, even a thru-hike.” I wrote this at the end of my Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru-hike which ended at the Northern terminus at the US/Canada border after 4.5 memorable months of hiking from Mexico and living in the wilderness of the American west in 2017. I detailed the impact of the PCT and a newfound purpose of trail stewardship that it had on me in this piece for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA).
The PCT was my second long thru-hike, after the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2016, and it again it opened my eyes, my mind and my heart while strengthening my legs and my belief of what I am capable of.
The PCT allowed me to step back from life while also living in a grand way. I thought about my past, my present and my future in an uninterrupted and contemplative environment. And I was amongst many in the same state of mind.
And of all things I learn on trails, I was daily reminded that we need to go to the mountains, because we are part of nature and we need wild places and spaces. Whether you like oceans, rivers, meadows or mountains, you need those places. They call us, humble us, ground us, connect us with other people in a way that big, busy and online places cannot.
We learn to live simply, to live with less, to confront the elements, to bow to animals, to interact with each other kindly, to keep moving forward, to enjoy simple pleasures and to extend a hand to others simply because we can.
My thru-hike was what it was because of my fellow PCT hikers, trail angels, firefighters, the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) and friends and family along the way that supported the trail and me!