Why did I choose to hike the Pacific Crest Trail? Well, I’m pretty sure the trail chose me. Some people dream for years about thru-hiking the PCT before they make the leap and commit to the trail. A year ago The Trail wasn’t even on my radar. This time last year I was preparing to hike the Colorado Trail before starting graduate school in the fall.
Last Summer, during my Colorado Trail hike I felt as if I was tapping into a part of my character I had yet to experience. Removed from all of the clutter and distractions of everyday life, I felt a profound sense of identity. As I hiked a ran into four individuals who had hiked the PCT in the past. They shared their experiences and each person sparked my interest in the PCT.
The fourth hiker I met was convinced that I was suppose to hike the PCT. Throughout our conversation anytime I said, “if I hike the PCT” he would interrupt me and say, “WHEN you hike the PCT,” but with each interruption I blew off the comment. After finishing the Colorado Trail I headed back to school to revive my professional aspiration to become an architect.
One day, a little over a month into the semester, on my way home from school a man ran a red light and smashed into the driver-side of my compact car. The impact knocked me unconscious and caused a small amount of bleeding in my brain which inevitably lead to my withdraw from graduate school. This forced pause in life required me to slow down and reevaluate my priorities in life. My plans and ambitions decomposed before me, but in the void something beautiful sprang forth. The idea sprouted and over the course of a few months my desire to hike the PCT began to dominate the devastated landscape of my life.
The details began to fall in place and on New Years Day I announced my plans to attempt a thru-hike of The Trail. Since January, I have invested all of my free time into training and planning for the PCT. I have spent hundreds of hours researching the trail, skimming trail journals, and analyzing gear reviews. I’ve also ran and hiked near 200 miles in the last four months. The logistics of the trip overwhelm my detail oriented personality, but I love the feeling that with every decision I take one step closer to my dream.