Its been awhile since my last blog post so Im sorry about that, for all the followers, heres your dose of all things PCT. This will be a long post so skim it or save some time to spend reading it in sections.
Let me start this out by saying a huge thank you to all those participating in this journey. My parents, my kids, and friends…thank you for the sacrifices you have all made so that I can finally do this. My Hermitage community and the Big Sur community in general have all had to put up with hearing the count down and the stories, oh the stories. They are yet still to come. My girlfriend who has been so kind and patient and helpful, … thank you. Thank you so much, all of you. To the online community… your support has been amazing. All the tips and advice are priceless. I enjoy following all the different blogs and the posts. Ill be watching you move along the trail just as I’m sure you too will be watching my progress. HYOH!
For those who don’t quite know what it takes to pull this off let me just share with you a little bit about it. For starters, money. Im hoping to have about 4,000$ set aside for this 6 month trek. I will go regardless but thats the current goal. Many PCT’ers will have about 5,000$ and some even more. So setting aside that sum of cash can be a bit of a challenge for some and I am one of them. Remember I also had to maintain regular life at the same time, this means reoccurring bills and a standard of living. Then there is the fluke stuff. I got two tickets and a parking ticket (universe sends these in three’s) that I am now working towards finality of the last one. Also I still need to file a non operational affidavit with the DMV and put auto insurance on hold. Did you know the Ca. DMV will charge you something extra if you hold your insurance with out notifying them first? I feel this is a strange assumption of guilt on the states part and Ive always presumed we are innocent until proven guilty? Anyway, so then to complete the process of getting my car ready for this duration, I will wash her inside and out, disconnect the battery, leave the hood open and put a car cover over her. Im hoping she will be happy with the preparations and continue to run when I return. Then the house, the house will have a new tennent while Im gone and they will likely water the plants inside and out. That same person will also cover my job while I’m gone for the best part of the year, summer in Big Sur! I’ll miss this life so much while I live another for the summer. Additionally my professional licenses auto registration, passport, internet and student loans all need to be dealt with in some fashion. So I will attend to all of them one by one. that is just some of the prep work. Ive also made 24 resupply boxes packed with food and others things in an effort to estimate my needs during this walk for the next 6 months. for those who are aware, heres a small list of food items I will eat every day.
Breakfast will be oatmeal, every morning!Sure Ill mix it with things, anything really. Sometimes it will be cold, sometimes it will be hot.
Snacks will be twice a day, after breakfast and after lunch. The will either be Clif bars and/or snickers. This is also where you come in! Send cookies! Send anything! if its food I’ll eat it!
Lunch will be either a mix of instant potatoes, rice and/or pasta. All are instant add water types and they will be cold sometimes and sometimes hot. It depends on how much fuel I have. (I’ll talk about the stove later)
Snacks again! I will sometimes buy salami, cheese and/or beef jerky from the nearby towns but mostly it will be Clif bars.
Dinner will consist of Mountain House dehydrated meals. Yes I set aside 150 meals for my dinners and thank God for Amazon.
Also in the resupply boxes I will have toothpaste, bandaids, soap, baby wipes, duct tape, and other random things. Again for those who don’t know, I will at some point have to send snow and ice gear just in case, different rain gear for wetter areas of the trail and some replacement gear. I use trekking poles as most hikers do so I will send new tips along the way, new trail running shoes and socks because they will not last, as well as possibly new clothes. That remains to be seen. So you see the 4,000$ I plan to use for the hike will disappear quickly even with out getting any luxury items. I plan to stay in a few hotels along the way but I am hoping to share the cost with other hikers and shack up together along the way. That goes for a few things like showers and laundry, we will likely work together to help each other as we go.
So there are some of the logistics involved in an undertaking of this size. I hope this helps answer some questions many of you have asked recently. Please if you think of more and want to ask, feel free. I love to see people get involved. Email works really well for me and I return all emails regardless of how silly, long, short or detailed they may be. Try me.
Can I change gears now for a minute? I want to talk a little about the emotional status. I’m excited, sad, happy, excited, nervous, scared, excited, and just generally feel unprepared. I’m told its common but it just feels strange. Im going to miss my dog, Bella. I’m going to miss the faces I see every day. I’m going to miss Doug’s jokes, Brother Bede’s cheerful response, Rich’s even tempered demeanor, Jim’s of the cuff witty remarks, Father Zack’s shuffle (tigger too), Cassin’s intellectual growth, Castro’s consistent brotherly charm, Brother Michael Harrington’s smile, Reniaro’s attention to detail, Brother Ignatius’s polite accent, Michael Richards geniality, Brother Joshua’s can do attitude, Jack Daniels sly comments and stories, Father Isaiah’s deliberate ability to listen, Uncle Wade’s infinite use of words, Terez’s gentile chuckle, Father Robert’s “Here we are.” and “There we go.”, Father Cyprian’s clarity of vision, and so many others that live here and make this special place and so unique and wonderfully awesome, there truly is no other place like it anywhere on Earth. I will miss this place I’ve called home for over two years now.
You know how many times I’ve asked myself, will it be the same when I return?
So this brings me back to the big one, Why? Why am I doing this hike? Why this long walk? Besides the adventure, the views, the challenge, the isolation in nature, the amazing hiking community, the small towns along the way, the 6 months with out a job, being able to eat anything I want with out gaining weight and being homeless,… I expect to find growth in my soul. I’m looking to grow internally into the man I can only see from afar. The kind of growth that doesn’t come easy. Not the kind of growth that you find in seminars, or classes, or even the spiritual growth that comes from church groups, no, I’m looking for a long term growth that changes the very fabric I am currently made from. All of life’s experiences combined thus far have only prepared me for this moment. This is the thresh hold of a new me. A richer more refined version of me awaits and I am going looking for that version of me. What it is exactly that I will find at the other end, I don’t know. What I do know is this, Im going to find out. Please join me, come with me as I move along. Lets see where this goes, together.
Such a journey of self-exploration. We all must do this in our own way. I’m hoping yours meets your expectations and that you have fun doing it. I’ll be cheering you on, and sending goodies, when I can. Love you bunches!
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wow 22 more days!!!! super happy for you! and that in little ways you are taking us all along with you! i was looking at some pictures today … doing a little research for a story i am working on when i came across the super ‘red’ moon photos! naturally i thought about you … i am certain this sweet mama earth we share is going to bless you in ways you can not even imagine … eyes wide open with wonder! love you!
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And growth you will most certainly find! I am so stoked for you, Brendan 🙂
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Brendan, I’ve just read what you have had to go through in order to get ready for the PCT. It seems to me to be quite an achievement of its own! I feel quite humbled when I think of my preparations for marathons.
I am so proud of you! Your soul is already fabulous! Can’t with to see your face!! Tell me what I can help with! 😉
Hey Jodi! I can’t wait to see you too! This is gunna be an epic adventure and if you want to help let’s have sushi when I get to Medford! Sitting down with you and hearing all about you and your life would be just the help I need! 🙂