The Hike Blog

When I reached the U.S. border of Canada on Monday October 24, I had been walking for six months. The walk that started at the U.S. border of Mexico (April 24) was so vast an experience I cannot even recount the major events in a continuous stream of memory.

This journey was made possible by countless Americans who either indirectly or directly helped me along the way. For those that plan, negotiate, and maintain the Pacific Crest Trail I express the same gratitude as for those that picked up this bearded white guy with a big bag along side this country's roads, and the same for those who provided me food and shelter.

While this journey played out in symphony with strangers, completing this walk was still my choice. I caution those who believe in a preordained destiny to reflect honestly on what is creating the associated meaning to their actions. This goal of mine was neither easy, nor a life long dream. There was real tangible sacrifice I made to get to the starting line. And by no means was a finish guaranteed. But I decided to just do it, just find a way and just do it.

(Link to the last blog post: Just Do It!)

(Illustration Credit: Susan Abbot, )

(Illustration Credit: Susan Abbot,

About the Trip (pre-trip, 2016)
Simply put, I was waiting to live.

Nearly four years removed from a college diploma, I found myself on the cusp of complacency. Months away from enough experience to qualify as a professional engineer, a predictable life was knocking. My job was fulfilling in many ways, but one year forward would closely resemble one year past. 

Without the type of life responsibilities that require rock solid stability, the stage was set for an American adventure. 

Young, capable, and free to pursue my own American Dream I decided to walk into a more deliberate life than I was living. Heading west to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for the summer of 2016 is the transition to that life. Leaving my job and home in Ohio for a one way road trip to San Diego and selling my car when I get there is the leap of faith that I will make what I want for myself.

The choice to do the PCT is bundled with the baggage I do have. Almost mid-way through student loan payments, I still have obligations to various financial institutions. I needed an adventure that would carve out a chunk of time I could find a way to afford without forsaking my education and experience to this point. Five (5) months hiking through the grandeur of the West Coast wilderness fit the bill. 

I'm not going "off the grid" for life. I'm not cursing "society". I'm shuffling the deck.

For this brief moment in time I don't know what the next year will have in store. The present is now nothing like the recent past. I'm betting on myself, immersed in endless possibility.

Originally I had planned to fly to San Diego on April 9 and start the PCT two days later. But in the spirit of the moment I decided to hit the road to San Diego a few days early, eat the plane ticket, and sell my car when I get there. From there I'll have until the snow starts falling in mid-September to reach the Canadian border. With a camera at my side I'll be updating the blog with daily photos and posts from my hike (cell phone service permitting). The PCT is 2,650 miles of established hiking trails that connect the U.S. border of Mexico to the U.S. border of Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.

(link to hike equipment below)