THE FINAL SHOWDOWN – PCT Trail Prep vs Real World Duties

I can feel my vision focusing, my mind becoming more alert. The present moment is alive and closer than ever as April 4th sneaks into the forefront of my thoughts and dictates the awareness in my actions.

Only two and a half weeks until my mother and I start thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and I am absolutely bubbling with excitement. I feel like a toy car wound up and rearing to go – or like a character on Scooby-Doo desperately running in the same place before speeding away from the ghouls.

I have all this pent-up energy, but I still need to finish out the week at my job. It’s a strange feeling knowing that such a life-changing journey is just around the corner, but I still need be a part of the real world and file my taxes and talk to my car insurance…

Last few days at work


As an east coast snowboard instructor, my season is coming to a natural end. The snow is melting, and the guests here at the resort are fewer and fewer each day. For me, my transition from the real world to the trail is tying up in a neat bow.

However, for the past 20 years, my mom has been a co-owner and CFO of a government contracting business, and her duties are not dictated by lack of snow. So, my mom, Lisa, is currently attempting to tie up and detangle a million little bows over every piece of work she has been responsible for since the birth of this company.

Yet, over the winter, I have gotten a call from my mom almost every day:

“Guess what I just learned about fire permits?” or

“I came up with a solution for our pot cozies!” or

“We need to figure out where to send our microspikes and ice axes before the San Jacintos!”

Although, recently, something has shifted, and the calls have become less frequent. When she calls, she has less to say about the trail, and repeats the familiar line of “Work is just crazy”.

I hear it in her voice too – the burden of trying to disentangle a life so deeply rooted in routine, and yet, at the same time that rock steady tone of determination that I know so well.

Proud mama with her baby – our first resupply box is in the mail!


The dance between real world and the trail is delicate, and a bit stressful. It’s a footwork that combines wrapping up at work and at home, cherishing every moment, and preparing for the trail. Attempting to live in both the present moment and in the future of the next six months ends up feeling a bit like running in place.

I almost wish we were leaving tomorrow, because this dance is exhausting. I don’t want to file my taxes, and I don’t want to make one more damn oatmeal. I just want to walk…

…so for now we’re stuck in some sort of strange limbo, finishing work and planning ahead, and straddling that fine line between the real world and trail.


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Comments 5

  • Tracey : Mar 26th

    Wishing you both a great and safe trip. Hope to possibly see you when you come off the Hat Creek Rim. I go out several times each season and provide Trail Magic in that area. It’s so neat that you’re doing this with your mom.

    • Tosser : Mar 26th


      We would love to see you at Hat Creek Rim! I will do my best to keep you in mind as we get closer there and send you an email. Thanks for the well wishes, I’ll carry them with us!


  • Lance A Goehring : Mar 26th

    Have a great hike! I can identify with the feelings that you are going through. I start in about 4 weeks. Happy trails and maybe see you on the trail.

    • Tosser : Mar 26th

      Isn’t it such a strange and restless feeling? Good luck with your prep my friend, and hope to see you out there!

  • Estill Fugate : Apr 23rd



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