This post originally appeared at . If you want to follow the good, bad and ugly of my week to week on the trail, please subscribe to my Trek blog site. I will be posting more regularly on that site throughout my adventure. I will also be posting from my phone, so the look and quality of these posts may drastically change for awhile. To just see my trip photos, find me on Instagram at: beckysonthewingadventures.

Five months ago I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to hike the PCT?!

And after all the training, the prep and planning, April is suddenly here and this grand adventure is about to begin!

To consider the enormity of the path- figuratively and literally- laid out before me, l am at once excited and terrified, but mostly in awe …

–Awe of my gumption to dream, and then to begin.

–Awe in my body, taking me to places where many only imagine to go. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is going to be really hard. The trail is 2,650 miles long with 489,000 feet of elevation gain. To complete the distance from Mexico to Canada in the necessary weather-window, I will essentially be walking a half-marathon a day for around 165 days with a heavy pack on my back. It’s the endurance challenge I always wanted to do… in my 20’s!


Ok, let’s get back to awe.

–Awe in the people I’m going to meet from all over the world… new friends yet to come.

–Awe in the simplicity of life on the trail. Each day I just have to walk, and make three decisions: What will I eat?, Where will I get water?, and Where will I sleep? When life is simplified, I notice it more. I live it more deeply. When living with only the basics, I have time to find awe in the landscapes in which I am fully immersed: the dramatic snow-covered mountains, the towering trees, the tumultuous rivers I will cross, and the dragonfly alighting on a leaf. It will all be there for me to notice, to breathe in, and to appreciate. The simplicity is what I’m looking forward to most.

I will probably experience even more awe at the amount of calories I will need to consume (and the size of my poops!), the pain in my body, the extent of my stench, and the rollercoaster of emotions I will feel moment by moment on this journey.

Awe is one of the reasons why I hike and travel and live widely and deeply. I didn’t always have a life that allowed for this. Now I do. I head out today, on the threshold of an incredibly transformative experience, and whatever happens, however far I get, it’s going to be awe-some.

And into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. The mountains are calling and I must go.

-John Muir

Trip Preparation

Planning an endeavor like this one was both awesome… and, truthfully, overwhelming. For the past few weeks, I’ve been fully focused on shopping, processing meals, packing resupply boxes, learning and practicing with my satellite communicator, trying out everything from shoes, insoles and socks to hiking poles, water bottle holders, and a sun umbrella. I even bought a new pack just last week, in a panic over the shoulder pains my old one was causing me. But now all the prep is done and I’m ready to go!

Over the last month, I prepared about 175 meals to fill eleven different resupply boxes, which my friend will mail to me as I go. Each day I will need huge amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat for a breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. To keep me healthy and powered, I need to eat well on the trail.

My resupply boxes are filled with food, toiletries, socks and any extra supplies I think I might need on the trail. I feel like each box is a love letter to myself, confidently expecting that I will make it that far on my journey.

This is the contents of my pack- everything I’ll carry for the distance to sleep, eat, filter my water, go to the bathroom, navigate, keep warm, and hitchhike from trail to town and back. Heck, I even remembered the special glasses for the eclipse! When fully loaded, it weighs around 25 pounds without food and water. But when I don’t have to carry the protective bear canister or my ice axe and snow crampons, my pack is a slim 21 pounds.

A Word of Gratefulness

Before I launch myself out across the Mojave Desert, I need to take a few moments to appreciate my friends – my tribe – who got me here. All of those people that lovingly said “Yes, it’s a great idea!”, “You can do this!”, and “How can I help?”

Thank you Mark and Sue for all of your support!

I can’t begin to thank all the people whose positivity have supported this adventure, but I’m going to try. First, I couldn’t have prepped for any of this if it wasn’t for the generosity of my friends Mark and Sue who shared their Portland home, their truck, and a lot of advice during my last month of packing. Mark is also going to be monitoring my satellite beacon and mailing me boxes along the way. We’ve been friends for a long time, and I hope he can join me on some of the trail.

More thank yous go to Kate for helping me pack all my food boxes! Stephanie and Ken for great training hikes. Brenda for energy gels, Scott for unwavering technical advice, PJ/ Nancy for her expert training routines, Chuck/ Karen and Laura/ Oliver for fun dinners and rides to and from the airport, Jae for getting me to the trailhead in San Diego, Lyssa/ Dan for waiting with open arms to collect me in Canada, and all of my 54th Street Neighbors, my teacher friends, my US family (especially Irais and Lucas), my Ecuadorian family (who donated my favorite bags of maní and protein powder!), Gayle, Katie, Michele, Fanny, Leo/ Marta and all my friends and English students from around the world cheering me on. This last week, many of them checked in to wish me last bits of luck for the trail. I will carry their energy to the top of the mountains and through the darkest of days. I am very loved and they all will be with me every step of the way. For this, I am eternally grateful.

Thank you to all of my friends from around the world cheering me on!

You Can Help Me, Too!

Let’s be real for a moment. Each year, only 25% of attempting thru-hikers actually make it to Canada. I think I have enough grit and stick-to-it-tive-ness to actually make a viable attempt, but it’s going to be a lot easier if I keep getting reminders of your support.

First, I will be coming into a town about every 5-7 days where I will have internet service and all forms of normal communication. I would really like to turn on my phone to oodles of well-wishing messages and positive energy. If you’re thinking of me out there on the trail, please take the time to send me a few words of encouragement. It will mean a lot.

Secondly, if you would like to feed the hiker hunger that invariably begins after mile 200, consider sending me a box of something yummy. Protein bars, candy, and homemade cookies are just a few suggestions- no coconut or carob chocolate please. Remember, I won’t be able to carry heavy items or large quantities, but I’ll sure be happy eating it in town and sharing with my trail friends too!

If you’d like to send me a package, we need to do a little coordinating because you need the exact address and the approximate date of when I’m arriving to that site. I’d hate for a package to arrive at a post office that I’ve already walked past.

Generally, I’ll be in:

–Southern California towns such as Idyllwild, Big Bear City, Wrightwood in April, May

–Sierra Mountain towns such as Lone Pine, Independence, Bishop, Sonora Pass in May, June

–Northern California towns such as Quincy, Burney Falls, Shasta, Etna in June, July

–Oregon towns such as Ashland, Diamond Lake, Cascade Locks in July, August

–Washington passes such as White Pass, Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass in August, September

And for my West Coast friends, if you live close to these trail towns, you better believe I’m going to try to connect with you on my way through. Just getting me to a grocery store and helping me celebrate my journey will be more than enough support! Thank you.

In my next post, I’ll have another way for you to help out as well!

With that, let the party begin. I’m so excited to just get started!

PCT 2024, here I come!