Bye Mom I’m walking from Mexico to Canada!!
I went outside
My addiction to the outdoors is a product of the lakes and rivers of Wisconsin and Minnesota. From first pitching a tent in my backyard in the long midwest summers, to my first overnight Girl Scout Camp, I loved making the still night air be my blanket under my roof of stars.
And closed the door behind me
After high school, I chose Alaska as my summer working destination, because the thought of a vast pristine wilderness excited the heck out of me. On my second day there, I quit my job working in a gift shop to become a sea kayak guide. And so was ignited a fire inside of me for paddling and big adventure. That first summer is when my friend Candice told me about the Pacific Crest Trail, a dream that pushed me through the rest of college. Being introduced to this group of seasonal workers, who were living out the idea of happiness and meaningfulness, made it extremely difficult for me to go back to University. This was the first time I realized that the status quo is meant to be broken, and I couldn’t wait to get out there and crush it!
I finished my BA from UW-Madison in 3 years, returning to Alaska every summer and studying at the University of Iceland for my last semester. My degree is in Environmental Studies and Communication Arts (Film), which facilitates my goal of making a change in the world wherever I go. I mainly intend to accomplish this goal through adventure filmmaking, but I know that change has no boundaries. Currently, I am working 2 very average jobs in the food service industry in Wisconsin, but I have realized that I have the power to improve sustainability from the inside while in this position. And so came the idea of trying to get the restaurants in Madison to stop using plastic straws, or only give them out upon request.
Over the last couple of years, Candice and I have occasionally brought up the idea of hiking the PCT in 2018, our first chance to hike it after finishing school. I’ve been following instagram accounts and picking up gear along the way, and before I knew it, I was calling Candice to see what date we should pick to start on! It’s crazy to know that it’s our turn to take the trail.
Overall, being done with my education has overwhelmed me a bit. I was always so excited to be free from the routine and responsibility of the life of a student. But now that I can feel how limitless the options are for every day, my pupils are a bit wider and my feet a bit more hesitant.
The biggest reason I want to hike the PCT is the comfort I find in being outside. I love walking through a lush forest and feeling like the foliage is giving you a hug. Or the feeling of spreading your arms so wide on top of a mountain and just taking the whole landscape into your grasp. Or those special moments when you can observe the ecosystem continuing to function normally despite a human presence. I want to hike for all of these moments, but I also want to hike so that I can establish myself in a community of hikers and adventure seekers in the Western US. I’ve only briefly been to California, and never to Oregon or Washington, so what better way to get acquainted than to walk through it?! I look forward to making a home out of the trail.
What a treat to be joining the ranks of Trek bloggers for my 2018 thru hike! And I’m even more thrilled to get out there and start hiking the heck out of the PCT in less than 5 months!!
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