A Bundle of “I don’t knows”

Hello fellow Trekkers!

My name is Saida and I am a 33 year old female, Los Angeles native. My current home base is Sacramento, CA where I relocated to in 2017. I took the first chance I had to get out of Los Angeles and while I had a couple bumpy first few years in Sacramento, life has settled a bit. I have been able to focus on my career, gaining the experience and position that I had been searching for and finally feeling like I am where I need to be…. and yet I am a few weeks out from packing my life into a Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60, leaving my dream job and heading north on the Pacific Crest Trail to Canada. More important than this dream job, I am leaving behind my family, friends, and the home I’ve built with the best’s friends and fur babies.


My Nova and Riley Girl – 2 of my 4 fur babies.

So why now??

Well…I can get into the deeper reasons that range from what is hopefully an early episode of a midlife crisis to I don’t freaking know where I’m going or what I want out of life. I’ve come to understand life doesn’t stop for anyone and time really waits for no one. Feeling like everything around you is constantly moving but you are not is tough so I’ve come to understand that I just don’t know. And what I don’t know ranges from inner thoughts and emotions (what am I doing with my life!?) to something as simple as what is my favorite movie/ song/ etc. is. Now that might seem silly – who can’t name one all-time favorite movie? But when there a was suggestion thrown out there for your JMT trail name to be “I don’t know” or “IDK” because when your group goes around asking questions, trying to get to know each other that’s what you begin every answer with… well… ya just (don’t) know.


One of the few times I sat around with my trail family and asked each other questions and made memories while on the JMT.

Now the real answer…

Without getting much deeper into the previous ones is…. *drumroll* …. because I can. That probably sounded like a spoiled, little brat answering but it’s the truth.  I have worked hard to get to where I am in life, but it took one moment (actually a few but one that really stands out) to make me stop and realize that life is not all about work and settling down and living the “American dream”. One moment for me to look around and ask, “What the hell am I doing here?”, and “Why am I here?”, to really consider what I want to gain from this thing we call Life. While this time in my life feels clustered and messy inside, it also feels like the right moment to pause everything and take a deep breath. Reset a bit, as most do when choosing to do something like this.

“The American Dream”


My Journey will be starting soon…

And (surprise!) I don’t know what’s to come out of it. I’m excited and nervous. I’m leaving behind a bunch of “I don’t knows” for a lot more “I don’t knows” on a whole different level and lifestyle. And somehow, I’m hopeful these two mesh together somewhere in the trail and magically sort themselves out. But amongst these “I don’t knows,” there are plenty of I do knows that will help me get through this.

Picture from 2023 JMT Thru Hike just North of Red’s Meadow

I do know…

I’ve got an amazing support team made up of some of the best people I’ve ever met. It’s possible they are even more excited than I am to be on the trail and can’t wait to share my journey. I’ve got friends and family that don’t quite understand the journey I’m about to take on but are just as supportive and excited that I am living life how I see. I do know I am walking into a thousand and one different versions of I don’t knows coming at me. The version of me walking as far as she can get (hopefully Canada!) will be nowhere near the one that started it. Or at least that’s the hope. I do know there are many unknowns that will range from the environment, weather, terrain to mental and physical challenges.

I do know now is my chance to take a shot at the Pacific Crest Trail.

I do know this bundle of “I don’t knows” is as ready as she can be and soon will be stepping foot on the PCT.


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Comments 2

  • Zach : Feb 26th

    You’re going to have the time of your life on the PCT, Saida!

  • Pixie : Feb 28th

    All the best to you !
    I’ve got the same “I don’t knows” and the same reason to hike 😄

    Have fun!


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