Adventures like the PCT don’t happen in a vacuum. Zachary and I have a support team of people who are helping us out. This became very noticeable two days ago, when we moved about 90% of our stuff into various people’s houses and basements. Between my parents and two other families, the majority of our furniture and household goods are safely stored away until we get home— which will save us several hundred dollars that a storage unit would have cost. From buying us gear to sending us encouraging cards, people have shown their support in many different ways.
I’m very grateful for everyone who has supported my travels. I recognize that I could never have traveled as much as I did without the kindness and generosity of my parents, my family, my friends, my WWOOFing and HelpX and Couchsurfing hosts, and countless strangers I met along the way.
As I draw near (four weeks!) to the longest and most difficult trip of my life, I’m nervous, but I’m also really excited. Not just for Yosemite and desert stargazing and Crater Lake and bird-watching and Mount Whitney and ridiculously scenic views, but for sweating and rattlesnake-avoiding and leg cramps and trail detours and the huge challenge of hiking almost a marathon every day for 150 days. I’m not expecting it to be very fun. But I am expecting it to be incredible.
Last night Zachary and I were talking, and he said that he had resigned himself to giving up his long-distance hiking dreams when we started dating. “And then,” he said, giving me a teasing glare, “somebody said, ‘Hey, let’s hike the PCT together!” I had forgotten that I was the one who revived his dream, who let him know that I was going to try to be up for the challenge. And so here we are, giving up our house and our income and our stability for a crazy adventure that has, on average, a 50% success rate.
And none of it would be possible without our support team, who have always been there for me, and who have now been there for both of us in a big way. Thank you to all of you. I hope that we can return with an adventure worth telling.