Back in May, after walking almost 800 miles north on the PCT from the Mexico border, I got to the base of Mount Whitney during a snowstorm. Realizing that a Whitney ascent wasn’t going to happen for me then, I sat in my tent and cried. The next day, I bailed out of the High Sierra, vowing that I would come back to do the John Muir Trail section (which extends from Yosemite to Mount Whitney) in the summer. I was determined to finish hiking my home state atop Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. The mountain had evaded me once but it was going to happen, dammit…
When you’re working towards a big goal, you will inevitably experience trials and tribulations. Life doesn’t always go your way—and that’s a good thing. If it did, you wouldn’t innovate and grow. You wouldn’t appreciate the little victories nearly as much. So this is just a reminder that whatever you’re struggling with right now on your path is part of a bigger story. Zoom out and take a deep breath. You’ll make it through.
The “halfway blues” is a common malady for long distance hikers. The middle of a thruhike can be tough. The honeymoon phase has long since worn off and our days on the trail feel defined by routine and monotony. It’s at this point in our hikes that we have to remind ourselves of why we wanted to do this crazy journey in the first place…
For the past two days, I’ve hiked completely alone for the first time on my Pacific Crest Trail thruhike. Sure, there are lots of other hikers around—but I know none … Continue reading It’s OK to Need People.
Hiking thousands of miles and living outdoors for months isn’t always easy or fun. In fact, it’s uncomfortable most of the time. But that’s what makes moments of sheer joy like my experience on San Jacinto Mountain so profound. In my 31 years on this planet, I haven’t found anything else that makes me feel so alive.
There is nothing quite like a rattlesnake to snap you out of your head and into my body. On Sunday, April 1st, I had my first encounter with an enormous Western Diamondback while hiking out of Scissors Crossing on the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m grateful for this snake for reminding me to pay attention to my surroundings and get out of my head. Being in your body means being present. At any moment, you could be challenged to take swift and immediate action in order to stay alive.
When choosing any path in life, what you are actually choosing is how you are willing to struggle. Without struggle, you couldn’t fully appreciate the beauty of every little victory you experience along the way. So here’s to ritualizing our reverence for the good things we are about to give up for the great things we are about to gain.