Let Me Take A Second To Introduce Myself

Hi there, my name is Kelsey Parrish and I’m hiking the Pacific Crest Trail on April 12, 2022! I was born and raised in the Midwest(Indiana) and moved to Colorado after I graduated college. I fell in love with the mountains and it’s been history ever since. Through hiking, I’ve met some incredible people and seen some beautiful places. My friends and I were weekend warriors that were either camping, day hiking (mostly 14ers), backpacking, or visiting National Parks in our free time.

A few random facts about me are that I have a dog named Moose. I love to cook, so the food part of the hike might be a bit challenging for me. I dehydrated 60-days worth of my own food with hopes it will make it a little bit better (fingers crossed). I love a good cider or sour beer. And lastly, I’m not that great at writing and grammar, so bear with me and expect some errors in the future. 

The Why…

Last January I was reflecting on my previous year and setting goals for the upcoming year. In 2020 I really focused on personal growth and wanted to continue to do so, but I wanted to push myself more physically as well. I also wanted to make my passions more of a priority.  I’m sure you guessed it already, but hiking is my main passion. So at that moment, I decided I am going to combine both goals and hike the PCT in 2022! 

People have asked why I chose the PCT and the answer is easy. I grew up in the midwest so I knew I didn’t want to do the AT and I’ve lived in Colorado for a while now so I knew I wanted to see something different. I haven’t had a chance to visit the PNW, but I’ve seen pictures from friends and know it’s beautiful! Plus from what I’ve read, I love the community the PCT offers. 

What I hope to get out of it… 

I ask myself this a lot and the answer changes from time to time but generally stays the same. I want to grow personally, discover more about myself, and prove to myself (and hopefully show others) that you can do anything you put your mind to. A lot of people don’t like to suffer, but the reality of it is that in order to grow you have to suffer and put yourself in uncomfortable situations. You need to experience those 0 moments to appreciate a 10. Most people quit because they think they can’t do something, but once you break through that mental barrier, your mind and body are capable of so much more than you think. When hiking 14er’s in Colorado, I really enjoyed the emotional roller coaster of suffering and joy. You push yourself to do something challenging, sometimes you ask yourself “why the hell am I doing this?” but then you reach the top of the mountain and see some breathtaking views that make it all worth it. You also think to yourself “Wow, I am a badass!” 

Preparing for the hike…

Prepping for the PCT has been a journey. I dove all the way in and have fully committed myself. Over the past year (and some change) I have researched gear, resupply locations, prepped my resupply boxes, made countless trips to REI, quit my job, moved out of my apartment, and sold my car. And let’s not forget the mental and physical preparation. The logistics of resupply boxes and planning meet-up locations for friends and family to join me were more challenging than I expected. If you’re interested, I plan to go into more detail about my food prep and current gear list in a different post.

To me, it was more important to prioritize my mental preparation over my physical prep. Knowing the hiker’s legs will come, I wanted to be mentally prepared for some of the roadblocks that I might face so I knew how to handle those challenges as best as I could. I read Pacific Crest Trials by Zach Davis and Carle Moree and I could not recommend this book enough! It gives you some tools to prepare yourself psychologically and emotionally for the trail. This is also a great read for your support network so they know what you’re about to embark on.

Thank you…

To my amazing family, boyfriend, and friends THANK YOU for all of your support, encouragement, and help to prepare for my hike. You have been extremely supportive, kept me focused, and helped me train along the way. I appreciate you more than you know! 

I can’t wait to share my journey. I plan to be authentic and raw with you, so you’ll see some highs and lows along the way! 

 

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Comments 4

  • Ralph B. Mahon : Apr 9th

    I am a lifelong dog lover, just wish I could bring my best friends on a trek like you are doing now.
    What kind of dog is Moose, and guessing he’s staying with family now?
    Best of luck on your adventure. Wish I could post pictures of my best friends on the AT with me

    Reply
    • Kelsey Parrish : Apr 9th

      Thank you, Ralph! Moose is living in luxury with my family while I’m on the trail. He’s a mix of chesapeake bay retriever, vizla, pointer, pitbull, and a whole lot of crazy!
      Good luck on the AT!

      Reply
      • Ralph B. Mahon : Apr 9th

        Hey that’s nice to hear! I live on a pond, kayak with my best friends.
        There is a vizsla on one end who Loves the water 😀 He’s always walking in the water searching for fish.
        Completely focused, like nothing else exists. Bet you’ll be happy to see each other again!

        Reply
  • Dasha : Apr 11th

    You’re going to absolutely crush it, Kels! We’re so proud of you and can’t wait to follow along!

    Reply

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