Blog Pacific Crest Trail

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

After four years of dreaming, pining, hopeful training, and planning – I am officially attempting a thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail beginning later this month.

What is the Pacific Crest Trail?

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2650+ mile long hiking trail that travels from the Mexican border in California through California, Oregon, and Washington with the terminus being on the Canadian border. On average completing this trail in its entirety takes an average of 4-6 months to complete. If you are interested, watch this fantastic video.

Why?

The trail was made popular/mainstream by the book and movie, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. Although I did read that back in 2013, my desire to hike the trail came later. When the Pandemic initially happened in April 2020, I found myself daydreaming about leaving the house (who wasn’t?!) and stumbled upon videos about the trail. From there, it became a mild obsession and I knew that I had to do. For other thru-hikers, they have described a moment of something clicking and this goal becoming clear – which is exactly what happened to me.

When I have told people my intention to thru-hike, the first question I typically get is ‘Why?‘. The reasons are varied but it boils down to a few things. I want to do something hard, I want to celebrate my body, I want to see the world at a slower pace, and I want community around something I am passionate about which in this case is hiking.

Finally, 2023 was the worst year in my life personally. I had two grandparents pass who were beacons of love and support which I am still in the mourning process for. There was also a few unexpected events that rocked me to my core. They showed me that I am strong, independent, trust myself, and have the tools to handle what life throws at me.

How?

Taking a 6-month sabbatical from working is not something I take lightly – especially from a job I adored. In fact I am fully aware and acknowledge the inherent privilege that is. The sale of the house in Colorado in addition to financial planning/money management has allowed me to do this. I am grateful for everything I have been given and everything that I have worked for that has paved the path to fulfill a dream.

It will be Hard.

Yes, it will be hard with a capital H. It will be physically demanding and even more mentally challenging. Though nerves are starting to set in, I have never been more determined to accomplish a goal. I’ve been struggling with my health for the past few years, but in 2023 I turned a health corner. I am feeling physically fit, lost the weight I had been fighting to get off, and I have medical support from a fantastic practitioner.

I have been able to backpack a bit over the years and feel comfortable in the outdoors. From the Inca Trail in Peru to high mountain trails in Colorado – I am feeling competent.

But what if you fail?

I have very intentional been using the word ‘attempt’ when speaking about a thru-hike of the PCT. I am not naive enough to think that things will go smoothly the whole way. My journey could take me all the way to Canada or get injured a few weeks in. The important piece that I am choosing to focus on is that I tried. I tried something big, scary, daunting with my full self.

Next Steps

I leave for the trail this month and will be posting sporadically updating on a variety of things. I will not be posting in real time for safety reasons, but eventually updates will come.

There is an overwhelming sense of excitement for this next step in my journey and for what the trail will bring me.

I am most excited for the transformation in myself. 

xoxo Leeann

PS this gorgeous picture was taken by my dear friend Darline. Check out her website for more amazing portraits.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Heidrun
    March 11, 2024 at 2:07 am

    And you will be transformed! Be safe.
    Wishing you the best of luck and plenty of trail magic in your journey,
    “Xkanuck” class of 2000.

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