One of my main motivations for hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is to overcome my fears. While getting ready for the Appalachian Trail I had the knowledge and support of my parents, who were also preparing for the hike. They had been researching and getting ready for years. Even though I jumped on to do the hike at the last minute and had a bit of a crash AT course, I had their knowledge to rely on. While on the trail, we had a team of three to help with logistics, planning, resupply, and all of the day to day challenges of being on the trail. I was usually comfortable to take a bit of a back seat roll and let the parents figure out the planning. If I had strong feelings about something, I let them be known, but otherwise I pretty much went with what they decided. The Appalachian Trail did have a lot of unknowns but I never really felt scared because I had a team to help me deal with every challenge we encountered.
I promised my readers a completely open account of what I am feeling, dealing with, and encountering on the trail and that starts right now with my preparations for this hike. So what scares me about the PCT?
To me, the PCT presents an entirely new series of challenges- and I’ll be facing it solo. I wouldn’t say I am the type of person to fear being alone but I’ve also never attempted something of this magnitude by myself. I’ll be buying a plane ticket to a city I’ve never been to, get picked up at the airport by someone I more than likely don’t know, go home with said stranger, and then get driven to the middle of nowhere and get dropped off with only what I can carry on my back. Alone. Wouldn’t I be crazy if I wasn’t a little scared by that thought?
I’ll be dealing with the heat of the desert- and if you read my trail journal from the AT then you know that the heat tends to make me melt into a puddle of pathetic hiker. It was never bad enough to make me want to quit but it wasn’t easy dealing with the heat rash, dehydration, and being absolutely drenched with sweat for days. The heat doesn’t exactly scare me, but it does have me a bit worried. Am I strong enough to overcome this weakness?
I am scared that I am going to put a ton of time and energy and money into this hike and not be able to complete it. There are a lot factors out of my control, like getting injured, and there is the reality that I might not be able to raise enough money to even give this thing a try. But what scares me more than not being able to complete this hike is not even TRYING to complete it. I’ve learned the hard way that tomorrow is no guarantee. I’ve been in love one time and he died when he was 24 years old. He was young and strong and healthy and beautiful and he only got 24 years on this earth. Sure I could put this hike off until I’ve retired from a long career in accounting, but what if I don’t get that chance? I’m worried this is a completely selfish thing I am raising money for but maybe that’s okay. Maybe my story can inspire other people to chase their dreams and to admit what they are scared of but face those fears anyways. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.”
To get more updates from me head over to my PCT facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPCT
To make a donation towards my hike check out my fundraiser: https://www.crowdrise.com/projectpct/fundraiser/kaylamccarthy
We have a goal of raising $7,000 for this hike and all money left over after the hike will be donated to BecauseIsaidIwould.com