In April 2016, I will set out on a journey. With this journey comes a cause. This is how this journey and cause came to be in existence.
I love the outdoors and grew up climbing trees and playing with chickens. When my family first moved to Minnesota from California, when I was about 2 years old – they wanted to find something for us to do as a family. That is when they heard about Camp Olson YMCA‘s Family Camp. This camp changed my life in many ways and led me to the passions I have today. I attended this camp as a family camper for a number of years, before I can even remember. I then also attended by myself as a kid camper. I will never forget the first time my dad dropped me off to spend a week there by myself. I was terrified and did not want to let him leave me. Though 5 summers later, I would find myself in a hole. Going nowhere, but down hill – I decided to sign up for the 4 week long Counselor in Training session, where I would spend 4 weeks learning how to be a camp counselor by working in different program areas, cabins, and hiking 8 days on the Superior Hiking Trail. That may have been 8 of the most awful days yet 8 of the best. I remember my knees shaking as I climbed up hill after hill, being crammed in a 4 person tent with 8 people and getting mad at a foreigner for eating all of our food. This trip also gave me pneumonia which I suffered from for the next month, but also propelled me to be who I am today. I fell in love with backpacking and helping others. I would spend the next 5 summers working there as a camp counselor and corral director, making some of my best friends and becoming part of a second family.
I am a very random person, and very goal driven. I come up with an idea and want to make it come to be; as I did when I graduated high school and went for a week long backpacking trip in Yosemite with just myself and a friend. Just as I did when I decided I wanted to work Wilderness Therapy, drove out to Utah to try out for a position, and got . Just as I did when I wanted a horse of my own, but knew I could not afford it and found a way to lease 2 for just $50. Just as I did when I wanted to be on the Price is Right like my grandma, and got myself tickets to make it happen. Just as I did when I wanted my first tattoo, and got 5.
One night, I was just trolling on the internet as I always do as I wind down for the night. I came across a photo of the “All in Trek” which I shared with the same friend I ran the corral with, roomed with in college, and hiked Yosemite with. We thought how cool, and jokingly thought of how we could make that possible. We knew thought that there was no way we could take 4 years off and make that happen. What could we do?! We could take 4-5 months off and hike the PCT! Slowly after researching and mentioning the idea to family who thought I was joking, it became a reality. I would quit my job and hike the PCT before going back to grad school!
I grew up on a farm and loved animals since before I can remember. I am sure my mom and dad can vouch. I grew up with every single type of animal (horses, cows, donkey, sheep, lizards, ducks, geese, sheep, cats, dogs, etc). We had many strays that we adopted and took care of. We also became foster parents for a local shelter, and after falling in love with them, adopted many of those we fostered. My first ever pet that was just mine, was a 3 legged German Shepherd named Girl. She was my buddy and followed me everywhere after we lost her for the first week we brought her home… Unfortunately, we had to put her down after she got hit by a car when I was on vacation and she came looking for me. All in all, I have a passion for animals and even though our long time family dog was a pure breed Bichon Frise that we bought from a litter, I will always be pro rescue!
Upon thinking of ways to promote and find sponsors for my hike, I knew I needed a cause to raise attention. And I also knew having another reason to hike would make it that much more of an amazing experience and push me through until the end. I went through various ideas before landing on this one (after learning about Ruffwear’s RAD program), and I knew this would be it!
Stay tuned on my blog and Facebook for updates on my trip and fundraising for Best Friends Animal Society. I will be hosting day hikes and overnights along the PCT and want as much support as I can get to raise awareness for Pet Rescue and how our four legged friends can be the best adventure partners!
Contribute to my Best Friends Fundraiser HERE!
Help me complete my trip before running out of money HERE!
Or just spread the word and volunteer/donate to your local shelter and offer me words of encouragement 🙂
The Shirts and Bandanas have arrived!!!! The first round of shirt sales has ended and I was able to raise $178 – thanks to all the contributed!
I’ll start another fund as soon as I have enough people (min 12) who want a shirt. If you’re interested, click “i would buy this!” Click the photo below to check them out!
We have one event planned in Idyllwild around the 1st of May – the exact date to be announced! We will have a hike with some local rescues and BBQ for the hungry hikers!