PCT thru-hike 2017

Part One: Breaking Free

It was a long and difficult process, selling our home and all of our things, moving out of a house we had lived in for 10 years to do a PCT thru-hike.  This did not happen overnight, and it took a lot of planning and hard work to make it come to fruition.  It is amazing all the material things you collect over the years.

Our house was no different than millions of other Americans, nestled in a pre-planned suburb, full of stuff.  Where others see comfort, wealth, and security, we see shackles and poverty.  Not the kind of poverty you expect, but a kind of poverty of life experiences.  We were 9 to 5 zombies, going to jobs we dreaded, living in a groundhog day and getting older by the day.  Each day was like a nail in the coffin of our dreams, and it seemed like there was no escape.

Downsizing

It did not start this way.  We were excited to be homeowners 10 years ago.  Young and inexperienced, we were sold on the dream of success: make more money, buy nice things, get promoted, make even more money, and buy even nicer things, ad infinitum.  Without realizing it, we were giving up piecemeal with each thing we bought, our freedom.  All that was about to change.  We put our house on the market.  We sold our things at garage sales and on Craigslist.  Enormous debts were paid in full.  Loved ones welcomed us into their home.

More powerful than the despair of starting from scratch, or the fear of the uncertain, is hope.  Hope for new beginnings, hope for a brighter future, and hope for a life full of experiences.

Part Two: Planning a PCT Thru-Hike

Now that we had almost no bills to pay, we could start saving for our PCT thru-hike.  We had always dreamed of travel, but where would we go, and what would we do?  As a Christmas gift some years ago, we had received a book concerning all the national parks and national scenic trails of the United States.  This coffee table tome sat in our living room, and we would leaf through it from time to time dreaming of hiking.

Backpacking was something we had done for years.  However, with our minimal vacation time, we were able to travel the 9 hours to the nearest national parks, Big Bend, and pack for only 3 or 4 days tops every year.  What would it be like to backpack for 6 months?  So it was decided, we would walk from Mexico to Canada in 2017.

Prep

It was the Summer of 2016.  Our trip would begin in Spring 2017.  We had a lot to do, and so we got busy.  Melony has gotten a sweet new job at Gold's Gym as a personal trainer and yoga instructor.  We were able to save money and plan and prep for our big adventure.

After leaving his employer, Travis filled his days researching gear (see our Lore section for gear).  This meant reading blogs, books, and watching reviews on youtube.  Soon he had assembled all the lightweight gear needed for a thru-hike of this magnitude.  Additionally, he worked to dehydrate all kinds of foods, including beef jerky, veggies, and fruit rolls for our resupply boxes.

Melony handled the logistical side of the PCT thru-hike, focusing on resupply and packing food boxes.  Soon our parents' upstairs bedroom was filled with USPS priority mail flat-rate food boxes.  We read books and blogs and poured over maps.  REI hosted navigation classes, which taught us basic compass and navigation.

Additionally, we started training.  Doing strength training five days weekly and hiking as often as possible, Travis began to shed weight and get into great shape.  He also began attending Melony's yoga classes to increase his mobility and flexibility.  All of these activities began to build aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.  These are all important components for an athlete, which is exactly what a long-distance hiker is.

Plan

We received permits, allowing us to begin the trail on May 7th.  As things started coming together, our thoughts turned to actually getting to the trailhead.  Our Aunt Lee lives in San Deigo, and we have close friends in Seattle.  What if we did a road trip (see our road trip blog)?

We could mirror the trail and leave our car in Seattle with Kristen and Andy.  Then we can fly to San Diego, and Aunt Lee could take us to the trailhead in Campo.  When our PCT thru-hike is finished, we can get our car from Seattle and drive home.

We set a date to leave in mid-March.  Everything was ready, and it was time to start the difficult process of saying goodbyes.  Farewells to coworkers and clients, family and friends were hard to do.  We had a big dinner with all our closest to kick off.

Part Three: Living a PCT Thru-Hike

We drove out of San Marcos, Texas, on March 21, 2017, embarking on an adventure.  Not knowing what was in store for us just open to the experiences before us, we set off.  This Web site is dedicated to that journey and hopefully, the many others that follow.

We strive to provide entertaining and useful content regarding our PCT thru-hike.  Our story is written chronologically, providing trail tips along the way.  Also, see our Lore section for How-to and Gear information.  If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us!  We would love to hear your requests.  What would you like to hear more about?  What are your questions, or maybe you want to share your experiences?!

Let it be said that travel is a great teacher and with each adventure, you return finding yourself a little bit changed.  It is with these words and pictures that we hope to inspire you to go out and see the things you dream of.

Follow our PCT adventure beginning with our first post PCT Class of 2017!

Our Vision:

To inspire and prepare you for your next adventure.

Our Mission:

To inspire our readers to improve their quality of life through outdoor travel by providing useful insight and experience.

Our Values:

Quality: Excellence in everything.

Passion: Strong, positive emotion for what we do.

Integrity: Moral uprightness in our work.

Respect: Admiration for others' abilities and efforts.

Empathy: Ability to share others' feelings.

Community: Feeling and cultivating fellowship with others.

Courage: Ability to face fears in order to grow.

Our Readers:

Outdoor enthusiasts and any person looking to improve their quality of life through outdoor travel experiences.

We are committed to providing inspiring and useful content to our readers.  Please leave us comments, suggestions, and questions.  We would love to talk with you.

Start your adventure!

Our Adventure Begins Here!

  1. PCT Class of 2017
  2. Zero Day on the PCT
  3. Friends on the PCT
  4. Resupply on the PCT
  5. Hitchhiking on the PCT
  6. PCT Trail Town Julian, CA
  7. PCT Trail Town Warner Springs, CA
  8. PCT Trail Town Idyllwild, CA
  9. Mount San Jacinto on the PCT
  10. San Gorgonio on the PCT
  11. San Bernardino National Forest on the PCT
  12. PCT Trail Town Big Bear, CA
  13. Deep Creek on the PCT
  14. Cajon Pass on the PCT 
  15. PCT Trail Town Wrightwood on the PCT
  16. Agua Dulce on the PCT
  17. Hiker Heaven
  18. Lake Hughes on the PCT
  19. Hiker Town on the PCT
  20. Tehachapi Trail town on the PCT
  21. Southbound on the PCT
  22. Marble Mountian Wilderness on the PCT
  23. PCT Trail Town Etna, CA
  24. Burney Falls on the PCT
  25. Hiking Lassen Volcanic National Park
  26. Backpacking into the Sierra Nevada.
  27. Trail Angel
  28. Mount Whitney
  29. Kings Canyon National Park
  30. Muir Pass
  31. Yosemite National Park
  32. Sonora Pass