An Imagined Conversation Between You And Me About My Upcoming Thru-Hike On The Pacific Crest Trail


Hi hello welcome this is the blog post where I announce that I am thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year! Come on in, I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Hi Vanessa! What’s up?

Oh, not too much. I’ve just become totally insufferable because all I want to talk about 24/7 is the fact that I’m going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year and I leave in just a couple of months and I’m excited and terrified and preoccupied about which sports bra I should wear on this journey!

Woah, what is the Pacific Crest Trail?

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650 mile “wild and scenic pathway” that stretches from Mexico to Canada, passing through California, Oregon, and Washington. It is one of three major trails in the United States (the other two major trails are the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail). If you live in Oregon you’ve probably heard of it or know someone (or 42 people, depending on what your social circle looks like) who has hiked it. If you live on the East Coast you can think of it as a West Coast version of the AT, though the trails themselves are actually pretty different.

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Inspiring Things My Friends Are Doing and Some Other Thoughts

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

With the above sentiment in mind, Amy Siskind has been keeping a list of things subtly changing around us for the past 12 weeks. If you’re not following these posts on Medium, I strongly recommend doing that. It’s a good way to keep track of what is going on and to stay grounded and aware. This is not normal. Don’t stop saying that. None. of. this. is. normal. Period.


Though times are depressing and look like they will remain that way, I have been finding solace and inspiration in the magic of my friends. Here are some inspiring things my friends are doing out in the world that bring me hope.

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I Hate Betsy DeVos And Everyone Who Made Her Confirmation Possible

Today I ate a lot of cheese, even though dairy makes me feel ill, and I drank Diet Coke and pink wine, and I cried in my bed. I also did some other things, but those are the ones that stick out. I try to treasure my days off because they seem to be increasingly rare, but today was really a fucking waste. My own fault, for sure – I didn’t go hiking, I didn’t clean my room, I didn’t do the boring bureaucratic chores that needed to get done – but honestly, how are we supposed to exist when everything is on fire at the same time? I know the answers. I know that Betsy DeVos being confirmed is not the most damaging blow we will face over the next four years and I know it will not do to crumple under the force of these strikes – but fuck. I think about the baby I dream of raising with Alley in the next few years and I just cry and cry and cry.

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What’s the next thing you’re gonna need to prove to yourself

I spent a not-insignificant amount of time tonight lost in my email inbox, reading through old correspondences from January 2014. It was…weird. And now it’s 3am! At another time in my life I probably would have written more about the experience – named names – but these days I feel more comfortable sourcing witchy home remedies for vaginal discomfort on my blog than I do airing all my Feelings about old friends, lovers, feuds, weird premonitions that were truer than any of us ever could have guessed, etc. A girl’s gotta choose how she overshares, ya know?

I’ve had Ani DiFranco lyrics stuck in my head for the past 24 hours. I keep catching myself humming Your Next Bold Move, wondering how we’ve managed to land back at this point in the cycle of humanity, wondering how we’re gonna get ourselves out of it this time. “Coming of age during the plague / of Reagan and Bush / watching capitalism gun down democracy / it had this funny effect on me / I guess…

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January is Over

Today’s been my best day since the inauguration, I texted a friend this evening. I want to write about what I did today and I don’t want to write anything about the Trump administration or the havoc it is wreaking on all of our lives (some more than others, of course) for at least 500 words. Here we go.

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