In Pursuit of the PCT

Hi friends.

So last time I wrote an article for the Trek I discussed my choice to forego the PCT as it was March 2020 and the world was imploding.

I’m back to tell ya that I will be heading to Campo at the start of April, and let me just say the stoke is high!

Life has changed since 2020.

I hiked the Rachel Carson, Colorado, Wonderland, Timberland and the Lost Coast Trail. I lead my first trail crew, and became a ski instructor without knowing how to ski.

 

(Me hiking through what I called ‘Blowdown Town’ on the CT.)

The pandemic helped me recognize my resilience.

And as we head into year two and variant three of Covid, life continues to present challenges.

On Christmas Eve I was driving home through the canyon from work and I totaled my car. The canyon road is windy and after coming around a bend, I went to straighten out the wheels and instead slid on black ice, crashing into the hillside.

After the crash I immediately started to take account of my injuries. Could I walk? Was anything broken? Did I have black eyes from the air bags deploying? Could I still hike the PCT?

(A shot of my beloved Suby driving through the Sierra on a road-trip.)

I was lucky.

I had two badly bruised shins, but I was able to walk away from the car and into the arms of a wonderful group of people that saw the accident and pulled off to help.

My car was sadly beyond repair and I was devastated. It felt like losing a family member or friend. I slept in my car more often than a bed and spent more time in my car than with anyone in the last year.

The loss of my home-on-wheels was significant. I received a check for the total loss and all of a sudden faced a decision. Purchase another vehicle with the money along with my PCT savings? Or go without a car and put the money towards the trail?

(A Wonderland Trail sign with a pretty background.)

I did like I always do. I chose the trail.

Now I wake up at 5:30 and walk to the bus. I work all day as a ski instructor with kiddos that are suffering from the highest level of separation anxiety I have ever seen. And at the end of the day, I catch the bus and walk home; lucky to get back by dark.

There will always be something in the way of a thru-hike.

(My friend Maya up ahead, walking the Lost Coast Trail.)

In 2020 it was the pandemic; in 2022, it could be the loss of my vehicle.

My best friend is deferring law school because she got a permit this year. Another close friend is putting the start of her career on hold as she feels like right now is the most responsible time in her life to hike.

So why do it? Why make the choice to live out of a pack for six months?

We all have our reasons, and I’ll cover mine in the next article.

Until then, happy trails.

Kelly aka Sprout 🌿

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