The Golden Ticket 3 Weeks Before Start Date

Pre-Trail Update

“You leave in 3 weeks”

March 29th, 2023 (Wednesday) – This morning I woke up like it was any other day. I started to scroll through my phone checking social media and emails. There was one email that stood out to me. It was from the Pacific Crest Trail Association. I quickly opened the email as if I was a kid on Christmas morning. The email had a message saying, “Your permit is ready to print” and “You leave in 3 weeks”. I rushed to print it out and then, what I possessed in my hands, was a golden ticket that would allow me to travel the PCT corridor from Mexico to Canada.

Letting the cat out of the bag.

You can’t ghost people for the PCT like you’re at a friends party and don’t want to get stuck saying goodbye to everyone or listen to people trying to convince you to stay. This is a 5 month journey traveling through wilderness with little to no contact at times. With 3 weeks left before departing for the Mexican Border, it was time to tell everybody. I was determined to start spreading the news by telling my family, friends, co-workers, the grocery store clerk, the man asking for change at the intersection, and everyone else who I encountered. The more people I told, the more it became real to me, and it also added more pressure to follow through. I did not care what the people around me were saying with some being supportive while a few others were being haters. It didn’t matter to me what people thought about this. The only thing that mattered was that I wanted to do this for me as a life accomplishment.

Last day coaching Kickboxing at Tribe Vegas

March 31st, 2023 (Friday) – Today was an amazing day despite being my last time coaching Kickboxing at my home gym in Las Vegas at Tribe Fitness & Martial Arts. I was very happy to see the amount of students who showed up for my final class. So today I was going to leave the class with something to remember me by. Sparring! As a former combat sports competitor, it was my pleasure to spend a 2-minute round of face punching and leg kicking with each of my students. It will be my last class to spend time with each of them as they are more then students to me, they are my gym family. These moments will be what I look back on while I am gone on the PCT. I can smile at the time spent with the people I care about before I leave and can use these moments to help me when I am feeling low on trail.

Snow Preparations

April 1st, 2023 (Saturday) – With less than 3 weeks away, I decided the last thing I should get comfortable with is the snow. I wanted to test out my new ice ax & trail crampons that I received a few days ago on Mt. Charleston, the only mountain near Las Vegas that holds snow. Quite honestly, I needed to feel comfortable with the new gear. I never had crampons before but there is a first time for everything, right? I left early with Zeus, about 5:30 am, only to find out that the road was closed leading up to the mountain. Who would of thought that on this day there would be a marathon & half-marathon race coming down this mountain road. What an error I made. I may check the weather, the snow conditions, and my gear but did not think about checking if there were any special events happening on the mountain. So I did what any frustrated person would do and waited, and waited, and waited until I was fed up. I turned around and went back home to do something more productive then wait around for a marathon race to finish. I worked on my PCT logistics instead for the day trying to figure out when and where to resupply as well as making a spreadsheet to see where I would be at by what date.

Injured before starting the PCT

April 3rd, 2023 (Monday) – Last night I must have done something that hurt my back. I woke up in excruciating pain in my lower back that had me pinned to my bed. I could not get up without feeling the top half of my body being disconnected from my lower half and it was very painful to put the weight of my own body onto my legs without assistance. I called out of work and made an urgent care appointment. I had a shot in my butt for pain and an x-ray that showed I had a small curve in my lower spine. Since I have been a combat sports athlete and have had multiple injuries in the past, I called a specialists that I used to go to when I competed. Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine set me up with a quick appointment and I was in there first thing in the morning. I was given 6 very painful shots into my lower back in hopes to heal it in time.

Unbreakable Mind!

What a week it has been from receiving the official permit for the PCT, coaching my last Kickboxing class, dealing with unsuspecting road closures, and getting injured, there is one thing that has stayed certain. I am still determined to go through with my attempt of the PCT. I knew there would be obstacles before the actual trail but did not expect this. It seems that I am being tested well before the trail starts. Oh well! My mind is made up and no matter what happens, I will give everything I have to do this once in a lifetime journey.

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Comments 2

  • Jeff Greene : May 16th

    I love my trail dog and mostly refuse to hike anywhere she isn’t allowed, like pretty much all state and national parks. How are you going to deal with the many “No Dogs Allowed” portions of the PCT?

    • Atlas: The Tree Stomper : May 31st

      Hello Jeff,
      With some areas like Mt. Whitney, where dogs are not allowed at the summit, I completed last year so I could bypass. For areas like San Jacinto Mountains, which came relatively early in the hike, I will send him home since I live one state over in Las Vegas, NV. Keep reading my posts to find out what happens later in the hike as I am typing this after 40 days on trail and a lot has happened since then. Happy Trails!


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