Welcome! To my friends, family, and colleagues who are interested, I invite you to follow along on what I hope will be a safe and successful journey over the next 5 months as I follow the Pacific Crest Trail over 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. My goal is to update this blog with journal entries and photos as much as I can throughout the trip, so feel free to hit the “Follow Stone and Sky” button to automatically subscribe.
Among the many questions people ask, the one I hear most often is simply, “Why?” I wish I had a more satisfying, romantic or relatable answer like “To clear my mind” or “To find and/or get away from something”, which I’m sure is the case for many people who embark on thru-hikes of long trails, but for me it’s never been about anything quite that profound. For me, it’s always been about reconnecting with the best version of myself when I’m on the trail, a version that exists when I’ve been stripped of all the luxuries of daily life and some of the complacency that can come with them. It’s life at its simplest, you might say, and it makes me appreciate all of life’s complexity when I’m home. The more I stay connected with that part of me, the better I am at being a husband, a friend, a colleague, and a generally empathetic and resilient human being.
On the day I finished the Appalachian Trail, I remember looking at the friends I had made and was having the good fortune to celebrate with–Camel, The Camera Crew, Leki-less, Captain Hook, and several others–and thinking that the thing we had most in common wasn’t age, experience, athletic ability, or any other practicality. It was the desire to be out there on the trail every day, through scorching heat, bitter cold, biting wind, and everything in between, aches, pains and all. I never cease to be amazed by the limitless capability that comes with attitude and perspective, and life on the trail brings that notion into incredible focus.
On May 3rd, I’ll set off from the border of Mexico with my best friend and wife, Emily, who will be joining me for the first 10 days. As much as I’ve been looking forward to this journey for the 12 years since the Appalachian Trail, leaving home will be hard, and saying goodbye to Emily after our 10 days together come to an end will be infinitely harder. But dreams rarely come without sacrifice, and I will take her as well as all of you along with me on every step.