(1) Where are you from and how would you like to be identified?
Oakland, male, wizard
(2) Thinking back to your “day-1 self,” what is going through your mind at the start?
I was feeling a lot of emotions but probably excitement more than anything else. I had planned to do the hike 7 months prior so there had been plenty of time to fantasize about what it would be like and prepare. I don't think I felt any different than any other time I had anxiously awaited something for date in the future, the only difference was that this was the biggest thing I had ever done or planned for so the immensity of it all was greater than anything I had experience before. It took a few weeks for everything to fully sink in.
(3) Do you feel ready?
About as ready as I can be. I've been hiking every weekend to get somewhat in shape, meals packed, pack analyzed approximately 150 times... the only thing left to do is walk for a few months.
(4) What are you most afraid of?
My biggest fear was getting a couple weeks into the journey and realizing I wasn't enjoying the experience. I had already quit my job, had people subletting my apartment, and told all my friends and family that I was going on this adventure. If I bailed out early I would have been pretty disappointed and felt like I let myself down.
(5) What are you most confident about?
I was pretty sure I could hike 4 miles. Beyond that I'm not confident in anything.
(6) Does anybody not want you to go?
I was super fortunate in that everyone in my life was very supportive.
(7) What made you decide to take this hike?
When I was young my grandpa told me about his friends that had hiked the John Muir trail. I always thought that sounded like such an amazing adventure and that I would love to do something similar at some point in my life. Later in life I moved to San Diego and camped around most of the mountainous regions of southern California. During that time I met people that were on their own PCT journey and I think that was the first time I ever thought about doing this particular trail.
(8) What do you expect to get from it?
I was not expecting to get anything particular from the journey. Definitely no life changing thoughts or spiritual awakening.
(9) Have you ever done anything like this before?
I've been camping and backpacking plenty but nothing that even came close to the scale of the PCT.
(10) What have you done to prepare?
I hiked most weekends leading up to the trip in order to make sure I could do the distances I wanted to do per day. I also had saved up money, found people to sublet my apartment, quit my job, planned meals, followed long distance hiking forums, and spent a month straight trying to figure out what pack I wanted.
(11) What are you looking forward to the most?
I was really anxious to see what I felt like at the end of week 2. I thought the first couple of weeks would be full of new experiences and excitement but I wanted to know what it felt like once it had fully set in that hiking was my entire life for the foreseeable future.
(12) When/where did you leave the trail?
I made it to Canada on September 7th, almost exactly 4 months after I started in Mexico.
(13) What caused you to leave the trail?
One day I was walking and realized the trail had ended.
(14) Would you like to add anything else?
Knorr rice sides are the worst.