Blogger Introduction: Who the Heck is Mackenzie Fresquez?
Hello fellow humans! My name is Mackenzie, but most people call me Mac. I am a neurodivergent backpacker, cat mom, surveying student, and nature enthusiast. I am so excited to be a part of The Trek team of bloggers this year and to share my story! At the end of July, I will embark on my second attempt to thru-hike the Colorado Trail. But how did we get here?
The roads, rivers, and trails to backpacking
My backpacking journey began in my hometown of Milford, Ohio, when a new gear shop called Roads Rivers and Trails opened in 2010. I walked in one day shortly after their grand opening and saw a wall covered floor to ceiling in these huge colorful backpacks. I had never seen anything like that before despite growing up camping with my family.
Two of the three owners had completed a winter thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and the third owner had joined them for a section, and their story was so inspiring to me that backpacking instantly became a special interest for me and opened up a whole new world! After years of dreaming and a bit of time working at RRT, I finally went on my first backpacking trip at the Red River Gorge.
My Trail Resume
I caught “the bug” instantly! I spent most weekends backpacking and camping at the Red until I finally moved to Colorado in 2017. Backpacking is on a whole other level out here, way more challenging than in Kentucky. I went on a few short trips in the Front Range and Holy Cross Wilderness before attempting my first thru-hike of the Colorado Trail NOBO in 2020. I made it to Spring Creek Pass before deciding to get off trail. The following year, I made it almost 800 miles on the PCT, from Campo to Kearsarge Pass, before again deciding to cut my thru-hike short.
Finally, in 2023, I will attempt to complete a thru-hike! This time I will stay close to home and hike the Colorado Trail SOBO. Stay tuned for a deep dive into what it’s like to be a neurodivergent backpacker (what does that mean anyways?!), trail updates, and more!
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