Introduction: Follow me on the ECT!
Allow me to introduce myself
Thank you for stopping by and checking out my first post. Can you believe I sat here trying to figure out what to write before realizing, I should probably start with my name? Yup… I am no less awkward on a blog than I am in person. The only difference is, if I didn’t say anything to you just now, you wouldn’t have known my hesitation to just get out my name… Anyways…
I am Jess! My friends on the Pacific Crest Trail called me Frosty so you can refer to me whichever way you’d like.
In less than two weeks I will be heading to the east coast of Canada for the very first time, intending to hike the East Coast Trail. Which I will be writing about here – while I am on the trail! When hiking the ECT, I am hoping to learn more about the people and towns the trail connects to, do a bit of site seeing off trail, and hopefully kiss a cod (more on that later).
I live in the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada. I started backpacking and hiking back in 2008 with a former boyfriend. My first backpacking experience was anything but smooth sailing, (most people were surprised I ever wanted to hike again after it) but for some reason or another… It was love at first sight. I was hooked on overnight hikes and my love for backpacking grew deeper with every new trail.
A few years ago I attempted my first long-distance thru-hike of the PCT. I made it almost 1,500 miles (1,471 to be exact) before I left the trail due to a medical emergency. Since coming home from the trail, I dream about getting back there – to the point where it is now almost an obsession. I’m not sure when exactly that will be but in the meantime, I am filling life with small adventures in my own country (mainly within a few hours from where I live).
West Coast, best coast
I have spent all of my life on the West Coast, and I have explored a lot of it. I have been as far north as the Top of the World Highway in Alaska and the Yukon and as far south as the Mexico/California border (and mostly everywhere in between). The natural landscape is beautiful and diverse that I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, and there is still so much to explore on my days off.
The West Coast is home to rugged coastlines, countless bodies of water, sand dunes, high alpine mountains and so much more. You can surf in the summer, ski in the winter, and hike all year round. I’m not saying that other areas are not as beautiful, but it’s just so hard to leave where there are endless amounts of backcountry wilderness and wildlife right outside my front door.
Although I believe we “have it all” when it comes to our diverse natural environment and outdoor recreational activities, I have concluded that I need to start venturing further from home. I promised myself that I would start utilizing the small number of vacation days I get each year, to explore more of this beautiful world – even if that means going at it alone.
My passion for hiking stems from my desire to see the world in ways that make me feel connected to the places I visit. With not many friends to travel with, the thought of heading to a busy city on my own just doesn’t seem appealing to me. In fact, it seems terrifying. I think a lot of people struggle to find people who will commit to traveling plans, which is why we are seeing more and more solo travelers and lone hikers.
Since venturing alone to a new city isn’t for me, hiking provides the perfect opportunity for me. It gives me solo travel and I can see beautiful natural spaces far away from the hustle and bustle. I still meet people but most are there for a similar reason, to enjoy mother nature, challenge themselves and get away from “real” life and chaotic cities.
To me, there is no better way to see a new place than to walk through it with my own two feet.
Hiking is so much more than putting one foot in front of the other on a dirt path through the mountains and forests. It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, learn about new natural spaces and neighboring communities, and a chance to calm my mind.
Past hikes have gifted me with lifelong friendships, taught me the kindness of strangers, and realigned my ideas of what is most important in life. I learned how little one needs to truly be happy, how far I can push myself, and what it means to be truly vulnerable, with yourself and with others.
If you are anything like the rest of the people in my life you will probably ask me “Why Newfoundland?” In my next post, I’ll introduce you to the trail and what brought me to the quick decision to book a plane ticket across the country.
So, click that subscribe button and follow along with my East Coast Trail (and more!) adventure.
Jess (aka Fr*sty)
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