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In the days before my launch out onto the PCT, I started to fret and worry. Will I be warm enough in the desert? Will my ultralight pack be able to go the distance? Will the pains in my heels turn into a problem? Worrying is not something I normally do. I was mad at myself for wasting so much mental energy on what I couldn’t control. I knew that if I just got started I’d be fine. And here I am!

I’ve taken on the trail name “Spice”, as in everyone is jealous of my “spicy” pants, or, I’m just adding a little flavor, or “spice” to the trail!

Experiencing all of my firsts has been exhilarating but the experience is so much more than that. Not knowing anything about the desert of Southern California, the beauty and biological diversity has far exceeded my expectations. Turns out that spring in the desert is colorful and stunning!

My first 50 miles! Only 2,600 to go!

Sometimes, as I stare down a new challenge like hiking the PCT, a dark little voice starts to ask “What makes you think you can do this? I mean really, this is a huge endeavor and you’re not so young anymore!” 

Yes, it’s true, taking on the PCT is huge and I’m going to have another birthday within the first 100 miles on trail. But I really believe I can do this because I’m strong, persistent (some would say stubborn), and I love these kinds of adventures. Even though this is my first thru-hike, this is not my first rodeo. I think my years of backpacking experience have prepared me with the grit I need to face tough weather, long water carries and snowfield crossings. That, and not showering for days, eating food that was dropped in the dirt and being able to sleep in marginal conditions. My last few years serving in the Peace Corps and traveling around South America honed my skills of intuition, resourcefulness and flexibility. And I’m an expert at listening to my body. For all of these reasons, I think I really am perfectly suited for the PCT. 

After so many years of compromising all of my dreams for the needs of others, I’m finally pointing my feet and following my heart to wherever it wishes to go. Seems like Canada is a great destination!

I don’t know if I’m actually going to get to Canada. But whatever part of the trail I do actually walk, I’m determined to enjoy every step of this great adventure!