Trail Mix with Your Favorite Nut (Uhhh, me)

In this pre-trail update, I will be talking about some of my worries and exactly why I will be thru-hiking the PCT.

Ahh, nuts

Delicious almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, walnuts…no, I’m not talking about the fruit. And yes, nuts are apparently fruit *mind explosion*. I’m talking about myself. I sit here only 5 days from the start of my multi-month journey into some crazy beautiful landscapes where stunning views are abundant. It’s crazy to think that just 6 days ago I graduated from James Madison University. Time really does fly by, and reflecting on how fast my undergrad flew by, I plan to soak in every second of being on the Pacific Crest Trail – both the good and bad times. Because let’s be honest, being able to hike for ~2,700 miles in the span of a few months is the definition of true privilege. However, the road to this point has not been all sunshine and rainbows, there are and were often times of uncertainty.

Self-doubt

As my start date has gotten inevitably closer and closer, I find myself often questioning if I am even capable of hiking more than two thousand miles. A lot of the pessimistic thoughts have shown their faces…after all, Murphy’s Law is a real thing right? So, I wanted to share some of my fears and worries via questions:

  • Am I going to run out of food and water?
  • How long until I see my first rattlesnake?
  • Am I prepared enough?
  • Is this all a ridiculous idea?
  • Am I going to get injured?
  • Will I have to get off the trail?
  • Will I even finish?
  • Is my body going to be able to endure the inexorable pains of hiking so much?

I thought that this selfie taken in Joshua Tree National Park while doing some plant monitoring over spring break ’18 perfectly exemplified doubt. Of course, all this is said to indicate the importance of recognizing WHY I am thru-hiking and why it’s good for the body and soul. I think we, as an ever-evolving and technologically driven people, live our lives with such a convenience nowadays that we seek the easiest and most convenient options on a daily basis. Similarly, I believe we take these conveniences completely for granted and I see thru-hiking as the perfect antidote to our severe case of affluenza.

Why I’m Thru-Hiking:

  • I think society tells us to jump straight into the workforce after college.
    • If I have the means and willpower, why not try to experience the world?
  • I wish to challenge myself
  • I want to experience a long-term primitive way of living
  • I have only been to the west coast once
  • I crave a life-altering experience
  • I long to see how beautiful our planet is
  • I want to test my limits and LEAP out of my comfort zone
  • I get to READDD various books to fill my spare time
    • Feel free to post book recommendations in the comments!
  • I WANT to inconvenience myself
  • I want to LIVE

Here we GO

It is simply amazing to see what the human body is capable of, but it’s even more amazing to see what we can accomplish mentally. Ultimately, it is our mind that pushes and allows our body to achieve such great feats. As the great mountaineer, adventurer, and first person to solo summit Mount Everest Reinhold Messner said, “I didn’t go up there to die. I went up there to live.” Next time I post it will be from somewhere along the trail! I hope you enjoy this picture of what will be my humble abode for the next five months.

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Comments 5

  • Avatar
    Devin Boehmer : May 11th

    Some book recommendations- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The Namesake by Jumpha Lahiri, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, A House In the Sky by Amanda Lindhout.

    Good luck! I’ll be thinking about you!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Sue Gornall : May 11th

    You’re living the dream that most of just carry on dreaming about! Enjoy every minute and learn from every experience! Will be willing you on every step of the way – go for it!!! xx Love Sue & Alwyn

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Matt wicks : May 11th

    Make me proud. I think what you’re doing is awesome and Ive got alot of faith in you. Love u bro

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jason Wicks : May 11th

    Very excited for you, you’ll learn a lot from this experience! Well written article too, long forward to more posts.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Lisa Koerner Perry : May 23rd

    Just received your postcard. I pinned it out in the hallway & everyone was excited to check it out. All the best to you!!

    Reply

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