And so it Begins… My Solo PCT Trek

Deciding to Hike the PCT

While growing up I was always the girl that hated doing make-overs and playing with dolls. I spent most of my time as a young girl playing in the woods either camping or pretending like I was in the army with my friends. As I’ve grown older I have found it somewhat hard to find connections with the other girls my age because of the different interests. It wasn’t until I turned 15 that I realized that there was a whole different group that was just like me; hikers! I started hiking and immediately fell in love, I never thought that I would find something so simple and so enjoyable all at the same time. As I continued hiking, my love just grew stronger and around the time that I turned 16 I knew I was ready for a bigger challenge. I laid in my bed night after night thinking of what I could do to really challenge myself. When I stumbled along a blog about the PCT I knew that I had to do it. I read blog after blog, book and after book, and watched movie after movie. After I was sure I wanted to do it I remembered that I would have to tell my parents…

Convincing the Parents

Getting my parents to let me hike the PCT might be a bigger accomplishment than actually completing the trail. After weeks of studying the trail, its terrain, the people, and the conditions, I felt ready to pitch the idea to my parents. I sat them down and told them my idea and initially they laughed and thought was crazy to even think of that as a possibility. Honestly, when I said it out loud I thought it was crazy too. After they took some time to think about it they decided they would let me and that was only because they didn’t think that I would actually follow through with the plan. That was almost a year ago… I’m still going strong with the idea and it’s too late now for them to take back their approval. I still think that they’re hoping for a last minute drop-out. But as the hike has gotten closer they surprisingly have continuously become more and more excited for me. It did take some time but now we’re all on the same page.

What About School?

Once I got my parents to agree to this absurd idea I knew that the next biggest problem would be that I would need to leave right in the middle of my junior year of high school. Don’t be mistaken, I care about my education very much and I am a high achiever in school. On that note, I’m only going to be young once, I have the rest of my life to learn calculus. I then took time to sit down with my school counselor (she also thought the idea was insane) and figured out what I would do. It took a lot of time but we managed to pull a plan together. It’s going to take a lot of work when I get back for my senior year but I mean a plan’s a plan… right?



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Comments 9

  • Emily Farrer : Nov 5th

    Can’t wait to hear all about it! Count me in for a day visit. 🙂

  • Dawn Swackhamer : Nov 5th

    I still think you’re crazy but it’s the right kind of crazy. I believe in you my most favorite girl. Love you!


  • Julie Tone : Nov 5th

    Hi Liza,
    When your Mom told me about it I thought she was crazy as well (maybe still do a little). But I also know your parents know you better than anyone and they know your drive and your capabilities and how hard you have prepared and trained for this! You’ve Always loved a challenge and always been driven! Super proud of you and can’t wait to hear all about your journey!!! Be safe!!!

  • Ashelyn Wagner : Nov 5th

    I love you and I’m hyped for you

  • Melissa Green : Nov 6th

    I think this will be an AMAZING experience for you!! Your mom only thinks you are crazy because she would not have done this in high school 😉 I have always loved the outdoors and only wish I would have thought about doing something like this because I was crazy enough to do it back then. I believe you only live life once so you should live it to the fullest. If you could die happy today…then you have lived!! I look forward to living vicariously through you Liza. Enjoy your adventure and all the ups and “oh shits” (preferably more ups) it brings for it will change you forever! I will be praying for awe inspiring moments, great weather, your health and safety…and the mental peace for your mom. She is and has always been a strong willed person herself. I can only imagine the excitement yet hesitation she must be feeling as a mother letting her child spread her wings and fly free. You will be an inspiration to others and more than likely encourage them to follow their hearts.

  • Robin TW : Nov 6th

    I’m excited, nervous and curious about your trip. I still think it would be awesome for us to meet you, with all kinds of irrelevant and relevant goodies at check points, to celebrate along the way. Keep the faith, take in the beauty, mentally record your favorite smells and sounds and tell us all about it later. This is all about you and Mother Earth, bonding. And please dear God, don’t cheap out on your gear. It will pay back in dividends. Enjoy ♡

  • Nancy Allin (aka Friendly) : Feb 25th

    Hi Liza…it was so nice to meet you at the Ruck, and chat about our upcoming hikes. I sure hope I can catch you at some point on the trail (I’m still pondering launch date and location)! You are inspiring, and I’m looking forward to following your journey!!

  • Shawna : Mar 27th

    I am so worried for you, but know how strong and determined you are. I can’t wait for updates!

  • Lauryn Swinehart : Apr 21st

    Hi I miss you already come home


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