ProjectMOVE: My Triple Crown Attempt
And it begins.
Growing up I truly never would have thought I would be leaving my job, family, friends, and most importantly, a real bed. On purpose. But here I am, 98 days from throwing on a pack in Campo, CA, and repeating that process for 365+ consecutive days (hopefully). For those of you thinking to yourselves, “He’s going to take over one year to finish the PCT?” If that is the case then something went very, very wrong. The overall trip covers a little over 10,100 miles, 2.7 million feet of elevation gain, and is a continuous attempt at the Triple Crown but also includes bike-packing between the end/start of the trails. I realize the overall magnitude of the trip but look forward to the challenge and cannot wait to share as much as possible about my experiences.
This trip first came about a few years ago when a small trip with a buddy spiraled into a 12- to 18-month extravaganza. I came across some pictures of the CDT and was instantly smitten by the beauty that it held, and being from Colorado who wouldn’t want to crush a trail right in your backyard? So I brought it up to him and he told me he had always wanted to do the PCT (now for those of you who have this kind of friend you will relate to what happened next; if you don’t, find one). We both looked at each other and were like, why don’t we just do them both back to back? Well, that snowballed into doing the entire Triple Crown (because why not?), then that avalanched into doing the entire Triple Crown while adding the element of biking between the trails since no one has ever done that before. Mind you, this all happened in the middle of a workday (Tracy, if you read this, I promise we work) so we decided to table the discussion for a more appropriate time. A few months later we were driving down to New Mexico and the idea popped back into conversation. Before we knew it we were at a restaurant plotting a rough timeline for the entire project and creating a gear list on the back of the kids menu.
Lo and behold, we found it quite challenging to make a trip of this length work financially so we did what most people do: Maybe next year. Well, that next year turned into the next year and soon I found myself driving home from Crested Butte in September 2018 listening to Backpacker Radio (shameless plug) and all of a sudden my mind was totally fixated on making ProjectMOVE work. Oh yeah, in the two years between the development of the trip and that day in September I named the entire trip ProjectMOVE: Motivate, Overcome, Vitalize, Elevate.
I decided to give it a name because I am hoping to have an impact greater than just my own life transformation. I wanted people who read this blog or see pictures (Instagram link in my bio) to realize that 1) dream big: if your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough and 2) get outside: it truly is the best cure for those life blues. Even hangovers.
Once I had a good grasp on everything I would need to do to make ProjectMOVE a success I decided it was time to tell someone with a little more objectivity to see if what I was about to do was a little crazy or just dumb. Over a meal of onion rings and a stromboli the size of my face (looking forward to a meal like this on a resupply) I began the conversation with, “So I’m going to quit my job and hike for 18 months.” I continued on and told him the backstory of ProjectMOVE, and as soon as I really dove into the details of the entire thing he could tell how excited and prepared I was, and his skepticism quickly turned to support. One thing that he kept saying and that has stuck with me through the entire planning process so far has been “Why not?” Once I really started to think about my why not I couldn’t come up with a legitimate reason to not do something that I am passionate about and love other than that it went against social norms to drop your career and life to go take a glorified long walk in the woods. And that’s a terrible reason. So here I am, 98 days away from officially starting a dream that scares the s*#t out of me but I could not be more excited. What’s the why not that is keeping you from chasing your dream?
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