Danielle OFarrell

Four years ago, I woke up in an Appalachian Trail Shelter on the last day of a 5-day backpacking trip I was leading with Tufts Wilderness Orientation. I squirmed to a sitting position in my sleeping bag and looked out of the open side of the shelter. Of course, I sighed, the birds were chirping and the sky was blue and I just was not ready to go back yet. But back we must go because the incoming freshmen we were leading were due for their welcoming orientation. I rolled over to face my co-leader and one of us voiced what we were thinking, What if we just didn’t go back? What if we just did this? And that was the beginning of my thru-hiking dreams. I kept playing with the day dream and then this year I realized, wait a minute… I could totally do this. So here I am, I am 24 and about to attempt a thru-hike to the Pacific Crest Trail! This trail goes from Mexico to Canada, entering six different North American ecozones and passing through the whole length of my home state of California. I graduated from Tufts University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Child Development and a Dance minor. The following year I worked in New England as an environmental educator and outdoor educator with Christodora and this year in San Francisco I work as an education specialist for Save Nature teaching conservation science and as a sales specialist at REI. And now I am heading off, to immerse myself in the world of nature and biology, a world I have loved since childhood and a world fear is too often forgotten. I am heading off to do a very simple thing–I am off heading off to walk.

Posts

Balancing Caution and Bravery: The Sunrise Summit of a Snow-Coated Mt. Whitney

Balancing Caution and Bravery: The Sunrise Summit of a Snow-Coated Mt. Whitney

Upon entering the Sierra in 2017, I was greeted with snow.  Snow that made every peak look more dramatic and all the valleys beautiful.  Snow that

Apr 28, 2018 : Danielle OFarrell
A 70-Mile Section Hike on the Bay Area Ridge Trail: Long Distance Hiking in San Francisco’s Backyard

A 70-Mile Section Hike on the Bay Area Ridge Trail: Long Distance Hiking in San Francisco’s Backyard

Training to hike the Meeting the trail I began my hike climbing a hill from Sneath Lane in the unique darkness of the lunar eclipse. I hiked

Apr 3, 2018 : Danielle OFarrell
Ruck Review:  Getting Ready for a Long Distance Hike

Ruck Review: Getting Ready for a Long Distance Hike

When I was preparing to hike the Pacific Crest Trail last year, I was looking for any information that I could get. It was my first long distance

Mar 29, 2018 : Danielle OFarrell
Giggles’ Gear Modifications and Tips for a Thru-Hike That Starts Tomorrow or Is Still in Your Dreams

Giggles’ Gear Modifications and Tips for a Thru-Hike That Starts Tomorrow or Is Still in Your Dreams

Everyone has their own way of doing things on a thru-hike, whether it is how they attach their umbrella to their pack, when they take a break for

Mar 7, 2018 : Danielle OFarrell
Why Do Hikers Take Naked Summit Photos? [Not Safe For Work]

Why Do Hikers Take Naked Summit Photos? [Not Safe For Work]

Yes, there is National Hike Naked Day and yes, there is a TV show called "Naked and Afraid" about being naked in the wilderness, but I can promise

Feb 26, 2018 : Danielle OFarrell
The Truest Things about Hiking the PCT

The Truest Things about Hiking the PCT

I have been struggling with what to write after getting back from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017.  Not for lack of things to say, but rather

Feb 12, 2018 : Danielle OFarrell
Part One:  The Mind

Part One: The Mind

Sitting on the couch in the break room at REI a couple weeks ago I took my shoes off, threw my feet over the back of the couch to elevate them and

May 19, 2017 : Danielle OFarrell
Part Two: The Body

Part Two: The Body

Dirt tends to highlight scars and my feet are quite dirty and quite scared.  I have accrued a decent number of injuries over the course of my life

May 19, 2017 : Danielle OFarrell
Snowpocalypse 2017 Skills

Snowpocalypse 2017 Skills

Saturday, I watched both the sunrise and the sunset.  I woke up at 4am to begin my Fitted crampons with Vapor Barrier Socks (seemed a little

May 2, 2017 : Danielle OFarrell