Eddie O'LearyComment

Why the PCT

Eddie O'LearyComment
Why the PCT

In one week, I start hiking the Pacific Crest Traill, and I get to share the experience with my favorite person, Gin•Gin!

That’s 7 days. Or if you prefer, 168 hours. Or 10,080 minutes.

That’s so close! I’m in the middle of a three way balance between visiting friends and family in NC; organizing gear, food, and last minute details; and trying to get back into backpacking shape. It’s been a busy last few weeks, and I am eager to start walking.

That’s good because there’s a whole lot of walking ahead of me.

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Pacific Crest Trail

• Start Point: Mexican Border

• End Point: Canadian Border

• Miles: 2,650

• Miles of Desert: 700

• States: 3

• National Parks: 6

• Highest Point: 13,153'

• Total Ascent: 489,418'

• Sasquatch Population: Unknown

I never intended to hike long trails other than the AT. Then, I was wholeheartedly pursuing a long time dream, so I became laser focused on following that dream through. I discovered, though, that living out my dream opened the door to new possibilities, to new ideas, to new dreams. Or more accurately, building upon existing dreams. In fact, the motivation to hike PCT actually began while I was still on the AT.

As the miles to Katahdin dwindled, I realized how much I would miss the way of living associated with life on the trail. I realized how much I loved being fully immersed in nature. I realized this immersion allows one to be more open and alive to the world. I realized that I wanted the trail to go on. My mind began to occasionally drift toward thoughts of hiking another trail. I didn’t spend too much time with these thoughts, though, because Katahdin called my name.

The full understanding of what I had been learning slowly anchored itself into my heart once I returned home. I realized that my dream didn’t end on top of a wind swept mountain in Maine. Rather, that mountain served as a threshold to a new world, a world not devoid of the former, (for new existence owes itself entirely, is built entirely, on the former) yet changed it must be. Some dreams faded, while new dreams came to light. What dreams remained feel truer and clearer than before.

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Among other things, I knew I wanted to hike another long distance trail. A couple of trails grabbed my attention, but the PCT gripped me the most. It travels through parts of the country I have never been. It traverses mountains much higher and more dramatic than most I’ve climbed. It contains desert, snow capped mountains, and alpine forests, landscape that is quite foreign to me. The PCT meanders through several national parks that I’ve wanted to visit for quite some time. It’s a wild region.

The passion that carried me to the summit of Mt. Katahdin continues to drive me forward.

I look forward to not knowing what’s ahead. I look forward to spending my days outside. I look forward to the simplicity of walking. I look forward to noticing the small things, to living simply, to breaking free from the cacophony of our society. I look forward to living freely and fully, something hard to find in the real world. There is something in expansive wild that stirs the soul. Once found, it cannot be forgotten.

Hiking the PCT will also be one of the most difficult things I’ve undertaken. The blistering desert sun and long waterless stretches will test my will. Snow fields and high creeks will stand in the way. Hordes of mosquitoes will pursue me like some sick combination of zombies and vampires: relentless and thirsty for blood. I will be wet, cold, and hungry. Twenty-six-hundred miles is a long, long way to walk.

I cannot wait.

I am a filmmaker. I am an adventurer. I believe in children. My friends are obsessed with my beard. I am obsessed with beer. I want to embrace and fully live this life I’m blessed with. I want to be known as someone who loves deeply.

On May 16, 2017 I set out on my dream, the adventure of a lifetime: a 2,189.8 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. I want to push people to live their dreams and pursue their passions.