Pacific Crest Trail

To Run with Giants - Bigger than Myself

 'When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.'  

IMG_0591.JPG

As I write this, it's fast approaching one month since I first set foot in an entirely new and bewildering type of home - a home that, in the words of another, demands only that you keep moving.

The last month has taken myself, and those who have helped to carry me through my days, through almost as many ever-changing twists and turns as it has emotions and states of mind. From the searing heat of desert floors to the bliss of alpine forests, to the dizzying heights of mountain-top ridges; from apprehension, to crushing and questioning lows, to overwhelming triumph. All of which turn full circle on a daily basis and present themselves perfectly without warning.

I guess it's been very much a month of finding my feet - and by that I mean usually finding them beaten up and in a lot of pain. But beyond that it's been about working out my place within this crazy journey - going into an experience that seemed definitely out of reach, it's become easy to grapple with the question of wether or not that place is deserved, or how it must be earned.

Something that's become so clear though, is that to reach the goal of standing wearily and triumphantly at the Canadian border monument in another four months time, is an achievement which certainly won't be made alone. Like all of the greatest experiences, it's been the people who have shared in and contributed to the ride who give so much strength. From people who have shared the trail since day one and understand what's going on in your head, to the kindness of complete strangers who come along and remind you that what you're doing is much bigger than just yourself.

I hope to be able to put everything into words a little more in the coming weeks and months, but for now here's some photos of the last few weeks. Thanks so much to all from home and beyond for the amazing support, it really means an incredible amount.

 - Mousetrap 

IMG_0594.JPG
IMG_0358.JPG
IMG_0587.JPG
IMG_0332.JPG
IMG_0559.JPG
IMG_0547.JPG
IMG_0527.JPG
IMG_0386.JPG
IMG_0553.JPG

Additional portraits by Tommy Corey - www.tommycoreyphoto.com 

To Run with Giants - Horizons

'Why on earth would you want to do that?'
IMG_4039.JPG

As I write this, it’s less than 6 weeks until I depart for the US, and exactly 8 weeks to the day until it’s time set off from San Diego to begin an attempt to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border to Canada. Along the way will be over 2660 miles of trail, from the deserts of California to the rainy canyons and passes of Washington; all of which, for me, are most definitely the terrifying and exhilarating unknown. 

No amount of preparation and research can change the fact that this is still very much a dive into the deep end, with depths that I know full well may not be able to be reached. It’s that thought that’s become an obsession, and has turned a dream of the last few years into a fast approaching reality. When was the last time I started something I didn’t think I could finish? Have I ever?!

On a trail where it’s estimated that 20-30% of thru-hikers succeed and achieve their goal of reaching Canada each year, it’s clear that for me especially, every mile and day that passes will need to be earned, and absolutely nothing is a given. In that sense, it seems impossible that being a part of that select group standing wearily and triumphantly at the border monument at Washington’s end, could be anything short of life changing. 

This is a chance to leave behind the all too familiar feeling of forever living over the next horizon and for the next goal, and become present in an adventure that’s about relishing the here and now in it’s unfiltered, honest form. The six months that lie ahead will, for me, be one of the biggest challenges imaginable; so much so that a lot of this time is spent wondering what on earth I’m doing. And that’s exactly why it must happen.