Hiking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail
I had heard about the Pacific Crest Trail, but actually had my mind set on hiking the Appalachian Trail. I mentioned the idea to my dad sometime in 2010 and he seemed pretty interested. Over the next months he continued to ask me questions about it and even did a little of his own research. At one point he asked if I would hike with him in 2011. I didn’t really take him too seriously, but his interest in the trail didn’t die down. Before Kyle and I left for Southeast Asia he let us know he was serious. Kyle was quick to jump on board and the three of us had our minds set on a 2011 thru-hike.
Kyle and I returned from Southeast Asia the second week of March, giving us a little over a month to prepare. We each did our own research, but there was no way for us to really know what we had gotten ourselves into
The next four months across California and Oregon were the most special and meaningful months of my life. I learned so much about myself, the trail and community. Us thru-hikers were blessed with hundreds of Trail Angel’s supporting us along the way. If it had not been for all the love and support shown to us, we would not have made it as far as we had. Acts of kindness varied from beer left on the trail to people welcoming us into there homes. The Anderson’s and the Saufley’s spent the entire hiking season hosting hikers, preparing food for us, doing our laundry, offering support and laughs, and so much more. I had never experienced such a loving community and it improved my views of humanity.
We had our good days, and our bad. Chris, known as ‘Sidetrack’, made it about 250 miles. My dad, ‘Tortoise’, walked around 400 with us. Kyle, who was given the trail name Dumptruck, and I walked somewhere around 1,650 miles. 2011 had record snowfalls… Which proved to be a great challenge for all. The snow melt made for extremely high and dangerous river crossings. Many had the determination to continue, but many of us chose to ‘flip-flop’. For Kyle and I, that meant skipping up to Fish Lake, Oregon and hiking South. We hiked South almost to Lake Tahoe and then returned North to complete Oregon. When we made it to Washington, Kyle and I decided to call it a year. We had walked as many miles as we felt right and left the last 1,000 for 2012. We chose to spend time at each lake, make side-trips off trail to visit hot springs and friends. We were content hiking under 15- 28 miles per day.
I am proud of what we accomplished on the trail last year. To me it was more about the journey than the miles. My travel-style does not rush things, which is exactly what we did on the PCT. I had no desire to hurry through the most beautiful experience of my life. I met so many great friends and can not wait to be back on trail in 2012!
I dedicated my 2012 hiking season to The Pratheeksha Orphanage in Southern India, as well as a non-profit organization that supports the orphanage. You can read more about the orphanage and the non-profit, WE CARE of India at wecareofindia.org.
We saved the two most epic sections of the Pacific Crest Trail for our final season. Both the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and the entire state of Washington proved to be breath-taking and memorable experiences.
Our 2012 season was even more physically demanding than our first year, but that made the rewards that much more meaningful. Check out my blog posts for details on our journey! (I will link images to posts soon!)