Preparing for the big walk
Decision time over, we are now knee deep in plans to make this next crazy adventure of ours happen. For all of you who already know us, and those that don't, Ville and I met just about 3 years ago in Vietnam on a scuba diving boat, and the rest is history. Ville is from Finland and I, Kristen, am from the United States (Oregon specifically) and therefore we have spent the last 3 years living between our two countries and on a bunch of crazy travel adventures. We drove across the United States, open sailed the Caribbean, backpacked through Central America, drove up to the Olympics in Vancouver, and are about to embark on the hike of a lifetime; the Pacific Crest Trail. As difficult as the distance has been for us between our native countries, we share an insatiable passion for travel, personal challenges, growth, and the world we both live in. We can't think of a better adventure.
I know what you all are thinking. "Why would anyone want to hike for 5 months? Well, your not the first, will not be the last, and we will be asking ourselves this many times over I am sure. If you have to ask the question, you probably wouldn't even be considering this hike. 2,650 miles (4264 km) of hiking through 3 different states and all different climates is no easy task physically, but mentally and spiritually this is a quest. We have some great friends who have helped a considerable amount in the planning and advice of the trip (thanks a million Mama, Chia, Rocketman, and Anna!) and have spent countless hours of weekends and nights planning out the trail, stops and our boxes that will be mailed to ourselves along the way. Thank you everyone in advance for volunteering yourselves to help mail the boxes to us as we progress, for all the love and support along the way, and helping us to accomplish this dream, without all our amazing families and friends this would never be possible!!
As for training, Ville and I have always been wild things, so we run every day, walk everywhere, and swim when we can. We are both living in Helsinki, Finland right now and have our flights booked for the trip to Bend, Oregon on April 18th to see family, friends, grab our gear, ready our boxes, and catch a plane end of April to San Diego to begin the journey at the Mexican border. Ville was gifted a tourist visa from U.S. to complete the journey (hoping to have enough time to complete the trail before they require his return to Finland) and I am just hoping they still let me in :) We got in touch with a great Finnish watch company, Suunto, who has equipped us with computerized watches to keep track of logistics such as altitude, temperatures, compass, change in weather, a heart monitor (in case mine stops along the way) and a bunch of cool other features. Ville's exact watch was made famous in the recent movie 127 hours.
As I mentioned earlier, without help, we can not possibly make this whole hike happen. We will need help from family and friends to help us mail boxes, stay in touch with us via e-mail and phone when able, pick us up on trail for reprieve, house us and feed us as we make progress, visit us, or even hike parts with us! We are open for all who wish to offer what they can and we thank all of you for the support. You all are our inspiration and we would love to see all your smiling faces along the way. You might even get some dirty, smelly, hiker hugs :)
Hiking the PCT began as a big dream when my dog Timber and I use to bound all over the mountains in my backyard of Central Oregon. That was our ultimate goal. No job, no stress, only a backpack and the great open wilderness. "We only have one life to live, you better make the best of it" was our motto. Timber has since passed on, but I have been lucky enough to find someone who is as crazy as me with love for the outdoors, to live life to the fullest, to continually challenge yourself, and a need to bring ourselves closer to nature before it is lost. I can't imagine a better hiking partner, and we are so ready for this next adventure. Hope to see you on the trail. PCT here we come...