People have asked, and will continue to ask, why I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. That is a difficult question to answer, and most hikers claim that ultimate clarity about the reasons only comes while on trail. But I will try to share my thoughts now … before the hike. Maybe I can do a post-trail update!
There is this perfect strip of dirt
from Mexico to Canada.
I am hiking the PCT because it is there and I want to see every mile of it. There are other long trails elsewhere in the world but I love the North Cascades already, and know I will love the Sierra Nevada. So the PCT seems the obvious choice. I am lucky to have life circumstances that allow me to hike for 5 months, and I really want to take on this challenge – mentally and physically. I am hiking the PCT because I enjoy wild remote places. Because I am hoping to connect with people that also enjoy a very simple life. Because I want some distance from the life of screens, cars and expectations of society on how we should live our life.
I have learned over the years that my spirit is strongest and healthiest in the mountains, where I can be completely me. Where the layers of society are peeled away and only the true self remains. So doing this for almost 5 months is a privilege. I also think we are doing terrible things to this planet and our wildlife, and while I try my best to reduce my impact in daily life, all these months in the wilderness without a lot of consumption (except for loads of food!) will be another step in the right direction.
I know that we can live comfortably without much of what we consider necessary. Yet I see many people unwilling to even try to reduce – energy, water, impact on wildlife, air quality, stuff. Many are so afraid to be cold, wet or hungry, living a life of fear and never taking a chance on change. Get cold to appreciate the sun after. And what if you felt better with less? Because it turns out, you don’t really need all this stuff. Happiness is crawling into a tent with a view of the mountains, good people around you and tired legs from a day of travel through the wilderness.