What Is an Oreo?

People are like Oreos! The good stuff is on the inside!

Hello friends, and welcome to my blog series. I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the Trek blogging family and can’t wait to share my story with you guys. All the laughs and tears, aching muscles, bruises and scars, the ups and downs, my excellent food choices from apple cinnamon oats, blueberry oats, banana oats, oats with PB, hot oats, cold oats, oats with nuts, oats with tuna (the thru-hiker life)! I am  known for my love-hate relationship with oats and for having the weirdest food combinations on trail. Mix everything I have and call it a ramen bomb deluxe!

Right now I am hiking the PCT northbound and thought my first blog post would be a great chance to tell you guys about who I am, where I am on my journey at the moment, and what you are getting yourselves into when following my journey.

My name is Oreo (Danny in my undercover 9-5 ordinary Life ) and on March 22 I started the adventure of my lifetime. The Pacific Crest Trail, class of 2019! On trail they call me Oreo, but I didn’t get my trail name because all I eat is Oreos (don’t get me wrong they ARE the number one in my food pyramid) but because I look like one. The first day I got a nice burn on and ended up with a super tanned face, arms and legs, and an extremely western white stomach. I just really embody every Oreo I have ever eaten.

I have been a travel bug and lover of adventure for a very long time. In 2012 I decided to go against the flow and travel to the Land Down Under to see the world and escape the feeling of being trapped in a job I didn’t want and a field of study I wasn’t sure about. All I wanted was the sun and beach for a year, to be honest. Long story short it is now 2019 and I am still traveling the world. I have been a full-time traveler for almost eight years now and through all the ups and downs and hundreds of jobs I’ve had, this is a lifestyle I wouldn’t want to change for anything. I have been to, worked in, and volunteered in more than 18 countries and always wanted to do a long-distance hiking trail. The Appalachian Trail has always been on my mind but I never thought a visa would let me travel for this long and so I put it in a box in my head, pushed it far away, and never opened it again. Probably pretty dusty right about now.

Then I moved to Canada and heard about a long-distance trail ending in Manning Park. That’s when the PCT manifested itself into every inch of my body and mind. People always ask me what my reason is for doing a 2,650-mile hike through deserts, snow, and mountains and my answer is always: “The pictures on Google looked nice!”

I started planning at the end of 2017, stalking all the lovely people of the 2017 and 2018 classes, and spending hours and hours on YouTube watching every single hiker video I could find, reading every single blog on here and trying to inhale every single bit of information I could find about what it’s like to hike for five months from Mexico to Canada. The longest hike I had done at the time was hiking through Switzerland with my best friend and that took us nearly a month. But I knew I could not take bags of rice and canned tuna and knew I had to do a few gear upgrades. I am also on a tight budget and come from overseas. So there was a whole new set of challenges that I was facing that I couldn’t really find much information on. How do I get nuts and seeds across the border, how does American money work, what are supermarkets called, how do I hike for five months with way less money then everyone else, and how do I fit an American-sized candy bag in my backpack? I will get into those topics in more detail later on the road.

So I spent a year on slowly collecting gear and gathering every information I could find. I got my visa, my flights, and before I knew it I was in San Diego where I got picked up by my trail angel, did my resupply, exchanged money and after four days, that feel like a big blur thinking back on it. We drove up this hill, I saw the Mexican border, touched the monument, and took my first step toward Canada.

So that’s me, Oreo, a cookie just trying to hike to Canada.

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