Long-distance hiking is one of the last semblances of the great Hero’s Journeys, rites of passage and pilgrimages that have defined people’s lives for thousands of years. Humans are not meant to be sedentary or trapped behind computers and inside of offices, cars and isolated nuclear family households day in and day out. We are a migratory species. We are meant to be part of our ecosystems and the wider human experience in ways that have been all but lost.
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike 2016
During my solo “flip-flop” through-hike of the Appalachian Trail (stretching 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine), I experienced excruciating foot pain, mind-blowing sunsets, freezing hail that pelted my skin until it was raw, and powerful conversations with fellow hikers who also felt that they didn’t quite fit into mainstream society. I learned not to compare myself to others who were hiking faster or slower than me, and to be gentle but steady in my self-discipline. I learned how to reason with Fear in a way that those of us who are born female aren’t typically invited or socialized to. I learned to sleep alone in the middle of the forest without getting scared and how to keep my cool during wild animal encounters. I learned to trust and listen to my instincts in a way that I didn’t know was possible. I learned to let go when things didn’t go my way and to accept whatever the trail had in store for me. I learned to accept what my body looks like and to understand that how my body feels is what really matters.
Pacific Crest Trail Fundraiser Hike 2018
In 2016, over 200 donors generously supported my crowdfunding campaign that made my dream of experiencing a solo pilgrimage of the Appalachian Trail a reality. Now, I want to thank my community for that incredible opportunity by giving back.
That’s why, in 2018, I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to support three amazing nonprofits that are empowering young women in the outdoors:
100% of what we raise over the course of my hike will be split evenly between these organizations. Join me in supporting young women in embarking on their own personal transformation journeys! The crowdfunding campaign launches on March 25th, the day I step foot on the PCT.
Subscribe to my PCT 2018 email list or learn more about the campaign: