If I don’t now, I never will
January 18, 2014
The Pacific Crest Trail, my travel awakening and new adventure blog.
Comprising of over 2,650 miles, the Pacific Crest trail starts in Mexico and ends in Canada carving it’s way through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Throughout the typical 5 month journey thru-hikers will walk up over 489,000 feet in elevation. The equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest from basecamp over 20 times. Not without reward, it traverses some of the most beautiful alpine wilderness in the world. I’ve hiked sections of it, it’s gorgeous.
It’s also no joke. Only about half of those who attempt a thru-hike of the PCT are able to complete the journey. Few facts about the PCT:
- Over 489,000 feet of elevation gain.
- Passes through 3 states: California, Oregon, Washington
- Passes more than 1,000 lakes.
- Passes 3 national monuments.
- Passes through 7 national parks & 24 national forests.
- In order to finish in 5 months (150 days) you must hike 17.76 miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain a day.
- Between 400 and 1,200 people attempt to thru-hike it each year. Less than half are able to finish it.
- The fastest known time for thru-hiking the PCT: 59 days, 8 hours, 14 minutes.
About a week ago I decided now was the time.
For me solo travel was an eye opening experience. The friendliness of locals and travelers, and the amount of fun it all was. In the end though what ended up being more rewarding than the trip was the lesson I learned about myself. I learned I could be comfortable completely alone in a place I didn’t know thousands of miles away from my safety net. I might even prefer it. It might sound stupid but this was life changing for me, you see, I’m a very introverted person who also fears being alone. I had put off so much in my life because I didn’t want to do it alone but now all these things I wish I had someone to experience them with seemed like things I should do alone. A paradigm shift? It feels like it.
This realization could not have come at a better time because there was nothing in my life to stop me from doing these things.
So when I watched this guys PCT journey on Vimeo the other day I had no inner dialogue there to say “you shouldn’t do this alone.”. Instead I felt the immediate need to do it… and if I don’t now, I never will.
WHY? To see if I can? Maybe it’s to find myself? For health? Spirituality? The experience? All of the above? I don’t know…
I love the trail, I can’t wait to put it beneath my feet. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to test me, give me blisters, and I’ll sleep on the hard ground for months… and I’m going to love it.
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