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This summer I will be departing on my biggest adventure yet, the Pacific Crest Trail aka PCT. For those that don’t know the PCT is a 2650 mile foot path that runs from the Mexican border near the town of Campo, CA to the Canadian border at Manning Park, BC. On average those that complete the trail do so in about 5 months time with around 90% of people travelling in a Northbound direction. However, I wont be one of those 90%, because I’ve decided to go against the grain and walk southbound. What follows is a list of reasons why I am hiking the Pacific Crest trail in no particular order. I’ve split the list into why I am hiking the PCT, and why I am going southbound specifically.

Frank aka #squawesomefrank, my best friend and adventure dog extraordinaire

Frank aka #squawesomefrank, my best friend and adventure dog extraordinaire

Reasons to Hike the PCT

1. Take Frank for a big walk

2. I love the feeling of moving over land by my own power

3. All the views, vistas, and epic scenery

4. Get lots of fresh air

5. Learn from reading all the signs along the way, seriously I read everything I walk past

6. Get a little leaner

7. Equanimity training

8. Make great memories with Frank

9. Live without keys

10. See lots of neat plants I’ve never seen before

11. Time to process past traumas both emotional and physical

12. Trying to wake up for sunrise somewhere new everyday, trying…

13. See some new insects

14. Not have to drive anywhere, living in a van it gets old…

15. Smell different environments

16. Live in a world where short-shorts are normal

17. Enjoy an extended wilderness immersion

18. Connect to a higher power

19. Hike until I hate hiking, and then keep hiking until I love it again

20. Spend less time on the internet

21. Tanned and toned man thighs, oh yeah dudes in short shorts…

22. Learn from the people I meet along the way

23. Make it up to Frank we had a lazy winter

24. Meet some kick ass people

25. Write everyday with pen and paper

26. Not have to think of what adventures to do all summer

27. Enjoy sleeping outside every night

28. See some cool rocks, I love rocks and studied Geology and Earth & Ocean Sciences in university

29. All the stars

30. Forget who I’ve been told I am

31. Walking lots eases my scoliosis pain

32. Hang out with my tree friends

33. Get a killer sock tan

34. Being able to eat all the chips without penalty

35. Enjoy sunset somewhere new daily

36. I’ve always wanted to go for a really long walk; I don’t even know why, but the time has come

37. To spend long enough living out of a backpack that I can more easily part with the crap in my storage locker, for real.

38. Inspire my friends and family to spend more time being active outside

39. Enjoy watching Frank in his element, that guy is not meant for town

40. Learn to be more efficient at packing my backpack, seriously how am I still so slow after so many years?

41. Learn how to get up and break camp in less than 30 minutes (current time average 2 hours)

42. Become a morning person

Reasons to go SOBO (southbound)

43. Generally safer water crossings, this is important with a dog

44. Cooler desert, this is also important with a dog

45. I can dawdle the last few hundred miles if I feel like it

46. Hopefully less rattle snakes

47. Later start so I can enjoy morel picking season in Canada

48. To be hiking in the desert while Canada is being crapped on with bad weather in the fall/early winter

49. To watch the ecological assemblage change from one I grew up in to one completely foreign.

50. Lower impact hike according to LNT principals and the PCTA

51. Living in Canada it’s just easier to tell people you are walking to Mexico

52. More solitude

53. The added challenge of a shorter weather window

54. Impose my pup on less people

55. Autumn in the Sierra

56. Washington wildflowers

57. Meet the kind of people that do things differently than what ‘everyone does’

If you’ve read this far you may have noticed there are a few typical reasons for hiking that I have not listed such as connecting to nature, learning to hear my own thoughts, breaking out of the rat race, and proving to myself I am capable of more than I realize. It’s not that these aren’t good reasons; they’re great reason, but they’re not MY reasons. My entire life is based on connection with nature, meditating, sovereign living, and challenging myself both physically and mentally, so as a result my reason are more about why I chose this adventure over all the other types of adventure I could be having with my free time.

Needless to say I am incredibly stoked to start this adventure, but in the meantime I’ve challenged myself to camp at least twice a month all winter which I’ve been posting about on Instagram. I’ll also be hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail for my second (and possibly third) time, as well as many other smaller adventures. To follow along on my PCT trek and the adventures that will lead me there you can find me on Instagram @tidelinetoalpine, as well as on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more PCT related posts like trail preparations, being a solo female hiker, vegan trail food, and thru-hiking with a dog.

Happy Trails!!