Day 0 – San Diego

Holy. Frickin. Goodness. The hiking starts tomorrow!

Ever since Dan and I boarded that plane to San Diego yesterday, it’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. We can breathe now. And I mean truly breathe and take in every precious moment of this thing. It’s a beautiful feeling.


Usually when I fly, I have several magazines, along with a laptop and a book…or two…make that three. But yesterday my carry-on contained everything I need for four to five months to walk a mere 2660 miles, sans water and food. I strolled onto that plane in my hiker clothes, wearing my last coat of mascara, sandals (despite the sub zero weather) and a huge grin. Oh, and with perfectly manicured toes as a sort of last hurray to my feet post mangled and blister ridden.


Our arrived in San Diego meant our first encounter with a trail angel! How cool is that?! Girl Scout kindly picked us up from the airport, even though we were behind schedule and are annoying Canadians who don’t have a phone…or skype…or any immediate way to get a hold of. Thanks for your patience Girl Scout! We stayed with him not only one night, but two nights where we were spoiled with a comfy mattress, chauffeur service all around the city, and the most delish Mexican food EVER.



Oh, and a shout out to Manique! She was the first pct thru hiker that we met. She drove with Girl Scout to the airport to pick us up, and it was a pleasure to have her positive energy eat away some of my nervous energy – emphasis on some, but that counts for something. She has a sweet blog at

So Manique was the first I met…and then came countless others! We went to Frodo and Scout’s house (other San Diego angels) for a grand Mexican feast where we met the most amazing hikers. There were twenty people there in total, and the conversations were running rampant. “Where are you from? How far are you planning to hike? What are you most excited/anxious about?”

And the advice has been so helpful and ENCOURAGING!


Anyone could do this. Seriously. Anyone. You could do this. It’s not about physical stamina – it’s about setting your mind, and more importantly, your heart towards doing it. These are just regular people with a common desire and passion to hike. Most of us are not athletes, and a lot of us have never hiked more than seven days in a row. But we’re gonna attempt this thing.

My goal is to have fun. Not to crank out a certain number of miles (although we are on a tight schedule). Here’s the most memorable points and advice I’ve heard so far:

Don’t quit on a rainy day – rainy days suck, and morale is low, and one is not in the frame of mind to do something so rash.

Make sure you hoot and holler at least once a day! My personal favourites include howling, yodelling, and “yee-hee!” – which is my own made up squeal for joy between yee-haw and yippee…and I have no idea why.

This is your hike, so hike it how you want to. Enjoy the moment and appreciate the opportunity and the fact that your body is capable of such a thing.

Take lots of water – running out of water is one’s worse enemy…not rattle snakes or scorpions.


So how am I feeling? Awesome. Honestly, I feel so at peace with this decision. I’ve had my doubts, and I’m sure to have them again, but at this present moment, I feel great. I feel invigorated from all the excited and positive energy of my new found community of friends. This is going to be the best summer of my life…how could I feel poorly about that?!

Walk on,

Tara – trail name coming soon…


So Tara and I are set to get started at 6:30am tomorrow. The heat doesn’t look too deadly but were still packin 10 litres of water on top of 7 days of food. Hopefully we can drink that fast because right now our packs are way heavy. We’re hoping to rocket out of the gate with a 20 mile day. The first section is 109 miles which we aim to complete by Thursday (7 days) so we can head to the kick off weekend bash. It’s near the start of the trail but a thru hiker from last year called Puppy has been super kind and is loaning us a vehicle to get to the party. Puppy is actually planing an entire summer of helping out thru hikers by traveling around and surprising hikers with delights like an oasis of cold beverages. She’s looking for fundraising help to make it happen, so check out her blog if you can help

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3 Responses to Day 0 – San Diego

  1. Kyle says:

    The time has finally come! I’m so pumped for you guys, the first week will likely be one of the best, take it all in! It’s an inspiration to have crazy friends doing crazy things, looking forward to taking part in the madness soon. Happy trails, see you soon.

  2. Megan Firth says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe this is happening! Sending Prayers and Love!!!!

  3. Sarah Hartung says:

    OOoh, I’m excited to follow your adventure, Tara! It’s interesting to read about all the PCT culture like trail names and whatnots. AND good on ya for getting that pedicure! You’ll have to show in photos what it looks like in the weeks/months to come…

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