Nice to meet you!
Hello! My name is Lacie and I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail!
I wasn’t always hiker trash…
In 2019 I was a working as an accountant. By the age of 30, I had already racked up a couple masters degrees and scored a management role in the finance department at a state university.
Though on the surface, I looked like I had it all together, on the inside I was falling apart. I struggled seriously with clinical depression, drank too much, and had come to see my life as empty and meaningless. Years of therapy, countless prescriptions, and a few stints in the psych hospital afforded little relief for my sadness.
Out of ideas and desperate for a change, I decided to quit my job and hike the Appalachian Trail. Though I had plenty of backpacking experience, I was not prepared for the ways that thru hiking would change me.
Discovering a new life on trail…
On the trail, being happy came easily. I watched with amazement as the quiet, self-conscious accountant transformed into a gregarious extravert named “Sun Fox.” Months went by without symptoms. I fell into the rhythms of nature, and rediscovered a serenity in my soul I hadn’t known since childhood.
Something about spending that much time immersed in wilderness recalibrated me. The boundary between what was real and what was hoped for dissipated, and the world became magical again.
For the first time in my adult life, I could see who I was without depression; I knew with certainty that happiness was possible for me.
After finishing the trail and coming home, however, my negative thoughts began to reemerge.
I had found peace on-trail, but didn’t quite figure out how to bring that peace back to the “real world” with me. When my depression returned, I knew that I had to get back to the trail.
So instead of going back to the rat race, I doubled down on the dirtbag life. For the past year I have worked only seasonal jobs, from backcountry caretaking to warehouse labor, saving up and waiting for my chance to thru hike again.
Between gigs, I spent my time hiking, backpacking, and backcountry skiing in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Return to trail…
Though I had planned to hike the PCT in 2021, Covid chaos made that dream pretty uncertain for a while. The PCTA didn’t even confirm whether permits would be issued until a few weeks before the lottery. I knew from my stint working on the Long Trail this fall that many people were planning thru hikes for 2021. Would I even get a spot?
But then it happened! Permits were issued and, to my relief, my name was on one!
And so here we are. In 5 short weeks, I’ll be taking the first steps on the adventure of a lifetime. I am so thrilled to be getting back on trail, and I can’t wait to share that journey with all of you!
In my next post, I’ll be sharing how I have been prepping for the PCT. Until next time!
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