Why the Pacific Crest Trail?

North Cheyenne Canon Trail, Colorado Springs, CO
Photo Credit: Jessie Cunningham

The first time I heard about the Pacific Crest Trail, I immediately wanted to do it. 

So, I placed the idea into the far regions of my mind and decided that someday, when my kids were old enough, I would hike it. After the completion of the Triple Crown of 200’s (Bigfoot 200, Tahoe 200, Moab 240) in 2018 and The Franklins 200 in 2019, my husband mentioned that 2020 would be a perfect year for me to tackle the PCT. 

I looked at him in shock. “Do you really think I could do it and leave the kids for that long?” I wasn’t asking for validation in my ability to attempt the hike, but rather the validation in being away from my family for that long. He gave me a simple answer. Yes. From that moment on, I knew it would soon become a reality because I had the support of my husband. As a military spouse, we move every 3-5 years. When opportunities arise we must jump on them. Timing is everything.

So once online registration opened in 2019, I waited patiently for my place in line to register. Luckily I was able to grab a Southbound slot for June of 2020. From that moment on, I would continue to prepare for an adventure of a lifetime.

Daily inspiration hanging up in my living room.

So, why hike the Pacific Crest Trail? This is a question I have been going back and forth on once it was decided that 2020 would be the year. 

I’m always eager to push my physical, mental, and personal limits. Maybe I’m searching for something. As a combat veteran, maybe it’s my way of dealing with PTSD.

Photo taken with my mother on my return home from Iraq in 2009.

Maybe I enjoy the outcome of sleep deprivation, physical pain and desire to push limits. Maybe the deprivation is that of adventure and I’m starving for exploration. Whatever it is, there are a lot of maybes and a lot of reasons why. 

I think those maybes and whys are the driving force in always wanting more. It’s the simple desire to search for more and to become the best version of myself. Trekking long distances has the ability to break you down to your core and push you beyond what you think you are capable of. For that I am grateful. You are never guaranteed a finish but you are guaranteed a story.

This year seems to be flying by and so much has happened these past few month. However, my desire to hike the PCT has not changed. I have been following COVID updates and even tracking a few fellow hikers currently on the trail. As things begin to reopen, I have high hopes that this years PCT Fastest Known Time attempt will not be greatly hindered. Now I am less then 2 months away. Time passes quickly and before I know it, I will be trekking along the Pacific Crest Trail with the high hopes of setting an FKT. As of now, all I can do is finalize my food, gear, and plans.

One Comment on “Why the Pacific Crest Trail?

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