The Time is Nigh and Setting My Intentions

The ebbs and flows for preparing for this massive adventure are finally at ease. The approach to trail felt forever, feeling as if the day would never come and would remain a longing dream. However, the time is finally nigh, and all the preparations, goodbyes, and training are complete. All that is left for us is to board our plane to San Diego, ride the shuttle to the CLEEF campground, and then take those memorable first steps into our new life.

We do have one last adventure planned before we start our hike and that is to celebrate two of the most incredible people we are lucky to have as our best friends as they get married in New York. Experiencing two cross-country adventures seems rather crazy but Martin and I love a good time and what’s better than visiting new places, seeing old friends, and eating delicious food. Honestly it’s the freedom of spending our time together and how we want to that we love and I think that’s a big reason the Pacific Crest Trail called to us.

Spoiler – The wedding was perfect and we had a great time getting fancy before we become hiker trash.

How We Got Here: Physical, Mental, Financial, and Emotional Preparations

Some of these examples are silly, some are reasonable, and all have positively impacted my confidence and capabilities in attempting a thru-hike this year.

  • Drinking water without any ice – likelihood of water sources having ice (this year high) however the GI issues not worth it.
  • Sleeping on our sleeping pad and using our sleeping bags for 3 weeks in our home – totally worth it didn’t want to be shell shocked the first week on trail.
  • Exercising routine included 3 days of weight training and 3 days of cardio work along with daily walking our neighborhood sidewalk route.
  • Telling Martin any time we walked on a road, in water, on a hill, “Hey look at us doing a road walk, river crossing, switchbacks” just as pure motivation.
  • Saving up hella money to cover our on trail and home expenses – this included saving up for 6 months of mortgage payments, lawn service, internet, water, trash and electricity and putting everything on automatic billing.
  • Creating five resupply boxes containing some of our favorite hiking foods and miscellaneous gear items such as micro-spikes, bear canisters, etc. This was a process. Each box contains 3-4 days of food for each of us, along with new hygiene kits and my medications that I require. I spent an entire day buying, repackaging and organizing different meals that we would enjoy and be thankful of for when an area of trail was lacking in resupply options. One box will be sent to Idyllwild, one to Kennedy Meadows South, and the other three are up to us decide as we get further along on the trail. My parents have been super supportive in this process and have been willing to handle the scheduling and mailing of these boxes for us. Another reason besides wanting yummy food and necessary medicine for creating the boxes ahead of time was to hopefully save money. Certain towns on trail are remote and the general location of the trail being on the west coast tends to be more expensive than what we might be used to paying for groceries in Georgia.

All our resupply food, miscellanous gear not pictured.

  • Shakedown hikes were crucial for us to dial in our gear and deciding what is important to us and that we are willing to carry for the next six months. On our last shakedown hike we went to visit my Aunt and her husband in Tennessee and hiked a gorgeous trail by the North Chickamauga River Gorge. The weather was slightly chilly but lovely and it was such an awesome experience sharing a hike with our family, dogs, while having incredible views of the gorge, waterfalls, and rock outcrops. It was on this hike that I realized it is not always about the destination but the journey that takes place.

We love a good waterfall and goofy selfie.

  • Working on my mental fortitude regarding unwanted noises. I have a heightened hearing capability and I have forced myself to become comfortable with noises that bother me, or I do not like in the hopes that once I am on trail in a new environment I am not panicking about those little things.

Trail conditions are rapidly changing and I have learned to manage my fears and expectations by not stressing about how others are hiking their hike or over-thinking the environment. I tell myself, my hike starts when I set foot out there and I will be willing to adapt as I go to enjoy the most of the trail as I can.

What Am I Most Looking Forward To On The Trail!!

  • I posted this on a Facebook group already, but it still holds true – I want to experience the moment that clouds are rolling over the mountains and feeling mother nature’s embrace.
  • Spending time with my hubby and growing together more in our relationship – How rare of an opportunity to share your dream along side your loved one is a chance I am not taking for granted.
  • Summiting Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.
  • Meeting new people ? The community aspect of the trail is a big draw for me, and I can’t wait to share this unique experience with those that I may never have gotten to encounter otherwise
  • Making the time to watch as many sunrises and sunsets as possible.

I Owe It To Myself

Lastly, I want to strive for living completely in the present. Instead of just getting through the hike, I want to create time and moments to just be in it. I plan to live each day to the fullest, embrace the challenges, and not take life so seriously. I love to be in control and the trail is an experience where I hope to shed some of my controlling habits. The PCT is a paradox of control as in my daily actions and choices are centered around a lack of freedom, so it is so easy to control my life. However, hiking the PCT for almost 6 months is incredibly freeing from the daily societal nuances we are accustomed to, so I hope to be able to relent my control and learn to accept hardships and comfortability as they arise.

All we can do now is embrace our future and start walking. The challenges this year are unprecedented but at the end of the day I wanted to do this hike as a way of connecting to the earth and having the adventure of a lifetime and this is regardless of if the PCT is even thru-hike possible. I want to make the most of this beautiful and grand opportunity and I am telling myself now that it will not be a deterrent or upsetting if all 2,653 miles are not completed.

Now the time is nigh, so let’s freaking go and cheers to those that also chose this crazy dream and I wish you all the best!

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