We are incredibly excited to share that we have been provided the opportunity to peruse one of our shared life dreams! Through the support of many people we are going to hike the PCT in 2016!
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) is a treasured pathway through some of the most outstanding scenic terrain in the United States. Beginning in southern California at the Mexican border, the PCT travels a total distance of 2,650 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington terminating just past the Canadian border in Manning Park, British Columbia. The PCT is one of the original National Scenic Trails established by Congress in the 1968 National Trails System Act. It is administered by the US Forest Service.
The PCT will take us approximately five months averaging 18-20 miles per day, a realistic estimate with some contingency time built in to our travel schedule. With support from parents to provide supply logistics, we hope to complete the entire south to north journey in one push.
We have secured a through hiking permit with an intended start date of April 23, 2016 but are working through final logistics and planning with employers before we can announce a final date. We may need to modify our start date a bit but suffice to say we will either be headed northbound from Campo CA on April 23, 2016 or one week later. Our planning projects that we will finish near September 25, 2016 if we can overcome all of the trials and tribulations along the route.
We know it is important to challenge ourselves as individuals and in our relationships, for the most change happens when you are pushed to your limits. For us, this trip is a chance to take on something scary, face our fears, challenge ourselves and do it in a place which removes us from all our normal comforts or distractions. It’s big and overwhelming. To walk across the United States of America through the Mojave, Sierras, and Cascades is incredibly intimidating. We will find out if Lauren can overcome her fear of rain and being wet or if Travis’s can conquer his fear of mosquito swarms. We fully aware we don’t know enough today to be successful, there are plenty of unknowns and lots to learn. Physical trials, financial security, mental fortitude, the loss of a warm home, missing the abundance of the grocery store, or the comfort of our beds; everything is in question. When traveling this long and the distance is so far, completing the entire expedition is anything but a sure thing. Our hope is that through this journey and the obstacles it will bring we will learn, evolve and grow as individuals and as a couple.
Thanks to our friends, neighbors, co-workers and employers for helping us pursue our dreams. Without our support network, this trip would not be possible. Already the encouragement we have felt has been very reassuring.
There is a lot for us to get done before we fly to San Diego at the end of April. If you would like to help here is a short list of identified gaps we need help with! We know there will be more so if you’re keen to help out in some way just send us a note! We are planning on using firstname.lastname@example.org for communications.
- Audiobooks: we need audio files uploaded to our Dropbox account. Travis likes non-fiction, historical fiction, and books that inspire. Lauren is keen on fiction (any), classics, murder mystery, etc.
- Help renting out our house! Perhaps you know someone who needs a home in Spokane for 3 – 8 months? Perhaps you have experience with Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) and want some commission? Perhaps you are just tired of your roommate and are ready for a change for the summer. If we can leverage the opportunity with your help, Awesome! If not we will likely shut it down and ask for help monitoring it’s safety and security from time to time. Check out the residence.
- We are also looking to secure our cars with adult supervision if possible!
- Anyone have a Verizon phone account we can borrow or trade with? Verizon has much better coverage than our network on Sprint for some of the small towns we will encounter.
- Bear Vaults are required for the Yosemite area, anyone have one we can borrow?
- Join us at a re-supply stop for a visit! We would love to have friends and family come visit for some encouragement or hike sections with us if you are keen.
With love and gratitude,
Lauren and Travis
- Will we be blogging or providing updates from the trail?
- Yes, we will hit a re-supply about every 7 days and will be sure to check in if there is wifi/cell access. We doubt we will be taking a two-way satellite messaging but you never know. We will likely have a portable power pack, a cell phone, a mp3 player and a kindle for books. Communication channels will likely be Facebook updates, email updates, etc.
- What happens if we don’t make it to Manning Park in BC?
- We will find a way home and serve humble pie topped with stories and experience. This trip is a big one and it is a little scary for both of us. We are committed to the outcome but acknowledge that we have a few personal challenges to overcome to make it to British Columbia.
- What happens if we make it?
- There will be a dance party in Manning Park BC followed by a shower and sleep in a real bed.
- Can we send you something?
- Please! Mail us boxes! Pictures from kids, letters, snacks, supplies. If you are willing to help with the logistical effort for supply coordination we would really appreciate it!
- Where did you hear about this crazy idea?
- Travis learned about the trail in 2001 from an amazing friend Joy Turner who had was the youngest person to hike the full trail when she completed it in 1998 at the age of 15. It was only a few years later when owners of Pangea Rafting, Brook and Dave made the journey. Their story left a lasting impression thanks to their story of relationship, the organic food and wearing Chaco sandals the whole way. Since these personal introductions the trail idea had been floating but it was not until 2012 that Lauren and I fully elevated the trip to a primary goal. We were taking lots of extended walks and just getting into regular summer backpacking after years of winter camping on skis. The idea has taken hold and resonated since. Before we take on other life changing adventures like committing to a family, we have taken a hard assessment of our life goals and what we should tick off before changing pace for a few years. The PCT is at the top of the list!