Along with the amazing support I have received from family and friends, there have been a number of questions. I’m sure some of you have the same questions and concerns, so I thought I would throw together a short Q&A of the recurring questions I am getting.
Q: Whats the PCT, and how long will you be gone?
A: The Pacific Crest Trail is a ~2660 mile trail running from the Mexican border in Campo, CA, to Manning Park, BC, Canada. Generally people can complete the hike in 4 to 6 months. I am hoping to finish in the 5 month time frame. My current departure date is March 15th, 2015. I am hoping to finish by Mid August.
Q. Are you hiking the trail alone?
A. While I am not hiking with a friend, I will be hiking with hundreds of other like-minded people. Last year there were approximately 1300 hikers who attempted the PCT. Most people start between mid March and mid May. I belong to several forums, as of right now, there are 5 people starting their hike the same day I am. While I won’t be hiking with a “friend”, people generally make fast friends on the trail. (sarcasm) So for those of you who truly know me, you know I will be hiking alone the whole time (/sarcasm).
Q: Your trip seems rather sudden. Is everything ok?
A: The desire to hike the PCT has stretched back many, many years. I learned about it in my mid 20s and over the last several years, have participated in a large number of endurance events. I believe Brian put it best when he said, “This is the next logical step in his fitness/life endeavours.”
For those of you wondering, Yes, I have read the book “Wild” By Cheryl Strayed. I have also seen the movie. Both are worth indulging in, however, they had nothing to do with my desire to hike the trail. It is a coincidence the movie came out around the same time as my hike of the PCT.
I have been in the planning stages for the trail since mid summer when it appeared the stars were going to align for this trip.
And finally, Yes, everything is great. I am in good health, my relationships have never been better.
Q: Are you scared? You’re going to be in the wilderness with Lions and Tigers and Bears! What if something happens!?
A: I am very comfortable with my backcountry skills. Surprisingly, animal encounters are pretty rare on the PCT. Many hikers go the whole distance without ever seeing a bear or mountain lion. I’m more apt to be struck by lightning than get mauled by a bear or mountain lion.
In the event I become injured from an accident, I will have the means to summons Search and Rescue to hitch a ride in a fancy helicopter.
As with all things, there is risk involved. Some of the most rewarding things in life, come with a good deal of risk. Being aware and prepared for those risks is half the battle. If it came down to it, and I passed away on the trail, I would have died doing something I loved. As opposed to having a heart attack at my office, or being hit by a bus. Which way would you prefer to go?
Q: What about Brian?
A: He is available for dates….Just kidding. He has been absolutely amazing. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive husband. He will be coming for several visits while I am on the trail. Additionally, I won’t be totally without technology. We will communicate regularly. While being away for ~5 months will be incredibly difficult, we have always said, we each need to have our own passions. Without them, we would not have new experiences that allow us to grow, and share with each other.
“The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.” Laozi