Been At It, Back At It
Howdy, Isaias here. The following is some background information about myself, my NOBO AT 2021 hike, as well as why I’m attempting a NOBO PCT hike in 2022.
Tastes of the Outdoors
Living in Central Texas, there is no shortage of day hiking and river trails to keep me entertained. Day hikes with friends to check out local swimming areas and popular spots happened frequently. Growing up, my family would visit lakes or state parks that involved short day hikes to check out the area. My Dad and I took our first big hiking trip when I was 14 to hike down the Grand Canyon, camp then hike back up to the rim the next day. Looking back on it, we had little idea what we were doing, but we had a good time and survived. These experiences shaped me to enjoy and feel confident in the outdoors.
Hikes for the Hell of It
Eventually, hiking became a way to seek solitude outside of a busy work schedule. Time spent meandering through the woods, chilling by the rivers, and finding secluded spots became therapeutic. When my friends weren’t able to join I would go solo and test out high mileage hikes. The hikes are an opportunity to exercise my love of photography and document natural formations, flora, and fauna to share with my loved ones. I found myself doing this at every chance possible and spending many days hiking regardless of weather conditions.
AT 2021 – Father and Son Hike
In 2020, my dad let me know that he was interested in hiking the AT… alongside me. My only familiarity with the AT was through a travel channel special I saw in my teens. I said, “Yes! I’ll quit my job,” without really knowing what I was getting myself into but excited for the journey.
After planning and preparation, we set out to Springer Mountain on March 15th and summited Katadihn on September 8th. The torrential rainstorms that welcomed us to the trail weren’t enough to knock us off. Being able to wake up every day and do an activity I truly enjoy was refreshing. I often chose to take side trails off of the AT just to find out where they led. It was a blessing to spend that time alongside my dad, and he documented our trip well through video on YouTube. I learned so many backpacking lessons along the way and met hikers I will never forget.
Solo NOBO PCT 2022
I’m hooked. Hearing tales of the PCT from fellow thru-hikers piqued my interest enough to get me reading about the PCT before completing the AT. Thankfully, my buddy logged onto the PCT site since I was working on permit day and snagged a permit for the exact time frame I preferred. It was surreal.
The reality set in when the official PCTA permit approval email hit my inbox. I focused on researching and replacing gear and reading about the trail. I also started brainstorming for where to do a shakedown hike. The desert miles sound doable and familiar, while the snowy portions are newer and exciting for me. Exciting days ahead.
I’m hiking the PCT to experience the landscape at a slow pace, experience the seasons, and connect to others outside their usual setting. Seeing wildflowers blanket the scenery and critters cross the trail is refreshing and a necessity.
The trails around me have been helpful by providing a home to train. I have been able to test out clothing and gear in the windy Hill Country and keep myself excited about the trail. Looking forward this year to being able to share through blogging and provide insight. I hope to answer any questions in the comments and see what’s down the trail a bit.
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