I know, crazy right?! Hiking 2,650 miles definitely does seem a little crazy.
If you really know me though, you know that this is something that has been brewing in the back of my mind since around my senior year of college (so, for 3 years now). I just never thought it would actually be feasible for so many reasons. What about grad school, whatever that looked like? Who would I go with? How much does something like this cost? How was I supposed to take 5-6 months off from my life? It didn't really fit in well with my "future plans". I figured, maybe I should just wait until after grad school, or, maybe I should just do it after I retire.
I was scared to tell my family, that after graduating from college, studying for & taking the MCAT, and 1 part-time, and 1 full-time job later, I still didn't want to apply to med/PA/grad school and instead wanted to hike from Mexico to Canada.
I decided that now is actually the best time. I know that I will not be applying to any type of grad school this fall/ next spring because I still don't know what I want to do. I don't rent an apartment, or own a house, I don't have any pets of my own, I have no responsibilities to other human beings (like a significant other or children), and I can still get health insurance through my parents. And due to a very unexpected death in my family's circle of friends, I've come to realize that I am not guaranteed a retirement to enjoy, so if I want to do something, I shouldn't put it off for "later".
I'm lucky that, for the most part, my family and friends are very supportive and excited for my adventure. Of course, they are also concerned about my safety. But I hope I can continue to inspire other solo female hikers. I know I was inspired by people like Karen Wang and Carrot Quinn and Cotezi and Dixie - all solo female PCT hikers from previous years. These awesome women made me realize that it was ok to start alone, and I shouldn't wait for a suitable partner to come along and finally make it "safe" for me to hike this trail.
So what does that mean? In mid-April I'll be starting my hike at the Southern Terminus at the USA-Mexico border near a town called Campo, and I'll be finishing in Manning Park, Canada, right over the USA-Canada border. It will take me approximately 5-6 months, though, I'm hoping closer to 5 months. And yes, I'll be hiking "alone" - if you consider 50 hikers starting at the Southern Terminus everyday for about 2 months "alone". You may be able to tell from my air quotes that I do not consider that to be alone. But no, I will not personally know anyone on the trail, though I do have some Instagram friends that are also hiking the trail this year, and I look forward to meeting all of the other wonderful and crazy people who are hiking this trail.
I've got a lot to do over the next couple months, and I plan on posting some more blogs about how I'm preparing for the trail. So if you have any specific questions, comment them below and I'll address them personally or in a post! I also will be blogging and updating Instagram from the trail when I have service/ WiFi, so be sure to subscribe to e-mail updates or follow me on Insta if you want to stay in the loop!