A Little Bit About Me!

Welcome to the Blog

My name is Darby, I’m 25, and welcome to my quarter-life crisis!! Two weeks from today, I will take my first steps on the Pacific Crest Trail, heading northbound to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. I have spent the past year preparing myself for this adventure- making a ridiculous amount of purchases and returns at REI, religiously watching the snowpack pile up along the trail, second guessing (and third guessing and fourth guessing) all of my gear choices, and watching more Youtube videos than I did when I was in middle school.

Had to have the pup’s approval on the PCT gear, Ren approves. Thank you Dad for the photo!

My decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail was an easy one and when I wrote out a list of “Why I am hiking the PCT,” it was a long one. I’ll go into more detail as to what led to my decision in my next post. But, having spent a decent amount of time in the areas surrounding the PCT in California and since learning about the landscapes and views of Oregon and Washington, hiking the PCT has been on my mind for a long time.

My backpacking resume is short and sweet. At the end of 2019, I did my first overnighter in Los Padres National Forest to some hot springs that we didn’t make it to. The next summer, I took off on a solo trip from Denver on the Colorado Trail and walked 105 miles to Breckenridge in 5 days. I’ll be back to check that off my list one day! I spent 5 days on the Trans-Catalina Trail, a *gem*. And lastly, a quick overnighter on Mount Whitney.

Above Outpost Camp on Mount Whitney in June 2022.

If you don’t know me, it’s important to mention that I have been an athlete for my whole life, playing 18 years of softball, including five years of division II college softball. There is much to say about my experience as an athlete as it helped me develop into the person I’ve become today, but I’ll spare you the details for now. Instead, I’ll tell you that I am excited for another athletic endeavor that’s going to test my mind and body in a way I haven’t been tested before. And I’m ready for it. 

My first season on the softball field, back in my prime days as an athlete.

A lot of things have to line up in order to take on a thru-hike and I think the stars have aligned for mine. I just left two jobs after working hard for the past year to save up enough money to fund my thru-hike. I don’t have anything significant that I can’t leave for the next six months, nothing tying me down. Physically, I trust that my body has the ability to carry me far. And mentally, well I’m a head case right now, so we will see how this goes.

And the wait is almost over!

It’s been a wonderful surprise to see that amount of support I’ll have on my hike. From strangers to coworkers I’ve only known for a few months to close friends and family, the support has been heartwarming and gives me yet another reason as to why I am hiking the PCT. To the people that have told me that they’ve always wanted to do something like this, you can live vicariously through me. Just kidding! I hope that you get to make your dream a reality one day, just like I get to today. To my close friends and family, I can’t wait to tell you about all the stories I’ll have, about the people I’ll meet, about my experiences on trail, and to send you a postcard or two from town. And, because of all the support I’ve been blessed with in just preparing for my hike, it is important to me that I share my journey with you!

So, thank you for following along, showing your support, and reading this post. Happy trails!

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Comments 3

  • Tracey : Apr 16th

    Interesting story. Wishing you a good and safe trip. Maybe I will see you out there as I sometimes provide Trail Magic on the Hat Creek Rim near Burney as time allows. Best wishes out there.

    • Darby McGhee : Apr 27th

      Thank you so much! That’s great, I’ll keep an eye out for the angels in Burney!


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