Down to Campo

April 13, 2017: 

I’m currently laying in my hotel bed in a little town along the grapevine, aka SoCal. My dad, Colton, and I left Redding this morning for our two day journey down to Campo, CA, aka the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. I realized as I was laying here that I haven’t updated my blog in quite awhile. It’s been a busy couple of months. My days have consisted of working, trying to squeeze in every ounce of civilization as I can, visiting with all my friends and family one last time, consuming as much beer and as many cheeseburgers as I can, and most of all, spending all my free time and money researching and buying gear. 

Now I’m not exactly your normal girl who loves shopping. In fact, I hate it. There are so many options for everything especially when it comes to hiking gear. And everyone has their opinion on what is the best, most lightweight, durable equipment that you HAVE TO HAVE IN ORDER TO HIKE THE PCT. Now if I were a millionaire, this shopping thing would be easy, but good gear is expensive. Like $400 for a 4 oz rain jacket expensive.  Yea, not happening. 
So to make a long story short, I have been buying gear. Lots of it. And spending money. Lots of it. But I figure this gear is stuff that can last me a lifetime and the last thing I want is to have my backpack fall apart or spend my nights freezing my butt off, all so I could save a few dollars. Enough about gear. I’ll give you a list of all that later. 

I probably forgot to mention this before, but I also have somehow convinced my boyfriend to hike the first month of the trail with me. I don’t know how I did it, but I hooked him. I couldn’t be more excited to share this experience with him. I feel like it’s going to be a great learning experience for both of us and hopefully strengthen our relationship even more. 

As you all probably know I have been working at the Fall River Brewery Taphouse for the past year, serving beer. So I get to talk to a lot of people every day and of course all my regulars know about my upcoming hike and want to talk about it. And of course once we start talking about it, everyone else in the bar wants to know what we’re talking about. It has been pretty entertaining hearing everyone’s comments, thoughts, and questions about my little quest. Here’s how most of the conversations go:

Customer: “So you like drive your car and camp every night?”

Me: “No, I just walk.”

Customer: “You walk to Canada?”

Me: “Yea.”

Customer: ” Are you crazy?”

Me: “Possibly. ”

Everyone also wants to know if I’m carrying a gun. This seems to be a much more important question then, do I have a map or know what the heck I’m doing. 

A few people have told me there is no way I will make it through the Sierras. I really hope to prove then wrong. 

Someone asked how I am going to shower. I told him we just don’t shower for five months. 

Of course they want to know how I’m gonna carry beer with me. I hope to figure that out at some point. Maybe after I figure out how to carry my food and water.

Most people think the trail ends when you reach Oregon. Typical Californians. 

Of course everyone wants to make sure I saw the movie Wild. Or as most refer to it as “that one movie where Reese Witherspoon throws her shoe off a cliff. ”

Everyone wants to tell me about this one time when their best friend’s third cousin spent a weekend backpacking 12 miles of the trail and how hard it was.

So we get to share a lot of laughs as I explain to them what I’m doing and most people are super encouraging and excited for me. Everyone’s jealous and tells me how much they would love to do it. To which my response is always, if you want it bad enough, you can. 

So yesterday I packed up my entire life for the next five months into one backpack, threw all my other clothes into boxes and told my brother not to give them all away.  To which he replied, “If you can live without them for five months, do you really need them?” Touche. And my dad is so kindly driving us to the trailhead, to where we will begin the adventure of a lifetime in two days. Wish me luck. 


10 thoughts on “Down to Campo

  1. Love it all Jenn. And I absolutely know you an do it! Let me know where I can meet you with an ice chest of beer. You won’t need to figure out how to pack it if your stops are lined up 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your spirit for adventure! I told Jeanine a while back that your my favorite , how do I say…significant other. Not that there have been many, but DEFINITELY my favorite ❤️ I pray God’s protection, peace, comfort, and joy over you Jen. Maybe we’ll see u on the trail in Washington if that’s possible to coordinate. We’d be more than happy to get supplies to you. In this family your in the company of great women of God willing to conquer mountains with you! -Amy


  3. Jenn, Good luck on your big adventure! My daughter, Kaitlyn (Joles) Drake, sent me the link to your Blog. I have hiked several sections of the PCT and hope to do a through hike at some point in my life. I have been planning to do a through hike since 1993! I am looking forward to reading about your adventures along the trail. I live in Southern California and when you get near to the Cajon Pass and the San Gariel Mtns, let me know if you need help or anything and I will do my best to help you out!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love you ballsack! I will think of you everyday with a huge smile on my face. A smile that will be my reminder of how proud I am of you and your crazy adventurous spirit! I know you can do every single mile!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jenn,

    You’re crazy as HELL! But that’s why we love you. You are gonna kick ass on this adventure and have so many people cheering you on. I look forward to all the stories. Just remember one foot in front of the other and you’ll be fine 🙂

    Love , Mike


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