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