Back at it! Last year I went on a 4 month trip abroad to Southeast Asia and New Zealand, and it was incredible. Last May I moved back to Jackson Hole and worked/played really hard for 11 months (personal employment record). In January I woke up and felt one of those callings people talk about all the time. My heart was being pulled towards the trail, I decided (rather on the spot) that I was going to attempt to thru-hike the PACIFIC CREST TRAIL. 2,650 + miles of grandeur. Holy shit. And it will be done startingggggggg…tomorrow (dawn, april 12th)
With the help of so many good friends, I was able to plan and research the trail in 2 months. Lots of logistical planning for the PCT, it’s much more remote than its east coast pal, the Appalachian Trail, so organizing 10-20 boxes of food/gear for a stable/settled/reliable family member (thanks dad!) or friend to mail out at different dates over 5 months is very common. I’m going as light as possible, but I of course still think I packed too much.
The trail spans from Mexico to Canada, the first 700 miles is desert, then the Sierras (yippee!), then some NORCAL action. We will cross over into Oregon where we will be soaked for 3 weeks, and then the final push through Washington where the views and hunger will be unbelievable.
Why? Well that’s easy, because I enjoy hiking. It’s the combination of my passion for physical endurance, the great outdoors, and the simple life. I also really love people, and hikers are always the most interesting, kindest, most generous people I meet.
THE CREW: no, I’m not alone, exhale! I am teamed up with 4 badass crazy humans who enjoy self-inflicted pain and mosquitoes as much as I do. The dream started 5 years ago when I met Maggie. We both volunteered for AmeriCorps on a trail crew in the Northwest. We maintained sections of the PCT and although vastly different, we became best buds (she’s an asshole, too).
Her cat-loving New Hampshire obsessed husband Mark is also joining us (couple alert! Just kidding, guys), along with their best friend Jon (he’s got (had) a real job, like a career, but he quit it to hike the trail and that makes him a hero). Then we have Shaugn Dugan, a fellow friend from the Northwest trail crew days, and a complete victim to Maggie’s bullying (he’s skinny and kindaaaa has red hair, that’s all the ammo Maggie needs for years worth of jokes and puns). But he’s a badass, and mocks my NY accent and tendencies to what he feels is perfection. “GOOD MAWNIN’ JOOOLIEEE”, we also only speak and write to eachother in all caps, if anyone is seeking peace and solace on the trail, stay far, far away. It’s a funny little group, I’ll probably get sick of them after 3 days and bail, which will be longer than any of them expect me to stick around. Oh my gosh kidding! I’m so lucky to have them, it’s going to be all laughs and banter, okay, all banter, some laughs, mostly tears.
Ill be in touch as much as I feel appropriate, might be weekly, might be monthly, but life is all about sharing and I know how interested (concerned) people are about this adventure! I’ll do the most uploading on my Instagram @jtmcc272 but will try to blog when I find the time. Thanks for all your support to get me to this point, I’m off!
“Pursue some path, however narrow or crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence” – Henry David Thoreau