Fundraising For Big City Mountaineers: Help Me Raise $2,650 By The Time I Get To Canada

Hi hello it’s so nice to see you! I’m really glad you’re here because I’ve got some very exciting news to share today! I know, I know – I already told you that I’m hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year and that I leave in just three short weeks. But guess what, I have even more exciting news! In honor of my PCT hike, I am raising funds for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), an organization that instills critical life skills in under-resourced urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions. Put simply, BCM helps kids who would never otherwise have the opportunity to explore the Great Outdoors get outside, learn about nature and themselves, and take an often much-needed break from day to day city life. It’s an incredible organization, and I’m honored to be able to use my PCT hike to raise awareness and funds for their work.

If you’re ready to donate to my fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers now, you can go ahead and click this link! Once you’re on my fundraising page click the orange DONATE button on the right side of the page and follow the instructions. Thank you for supporting this cause with me!

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Remember when a teen boy recreated Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video perfectly while wearing a snuggie?

Hey guys I dunno about you but I’ve been feeling really sad and anxious lately. Mostly I blame Donald Trump and the Portland rain. Maybe you’ve also been feeling sad and anxious, I dunno. Whether you’re feeling totally fine or whether you wake up and cry/yell at NPR every day (yes, Alley’s alarm clock is set to NPR, yes, I spend most mornings putting the pillow over my face and moaning “Nooooo” at whatever depressing thing the person on the radio is talking about that day before I even get out of bed) I feel like maybe you could use a treat. Well, I’ve got one for you!

Let me remind you of a simpler time, a happier time, a more colorful time, a time when Barack Obama was our president and Beyoncé had just released the music video to Countdown and – get ready – a random teen boy decided to wear a snuggie, perfectly recreate the entire Countdown video, film himself doing this, and post it on the internet!

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Falling in love with Big Sky Country (via my Canon film camera and my iPhone digital camera)

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Glacier National Park, August 2016 (shot with 35mm film)

I’d been wanting to visit Glacier for what felt like forever, but in reality was probably just a little more than a year. That’s the weird thing about the narratives we tell ourselves about our Selves – before actually going to Montana I often said, “I’ve been wanting to visit Glacier for forever,” but then I had to step back and remind myself that for a long time I was a city girl living on the East Coast who barely had a respectable pair of gym sneakers, let alone a whole hiking shoe/sock/gaiter system to maximize comfort and minimize blisters on 10+ mile trails. I had not been wanting to visit Glacier for forever. But it felt like I had to the Me I was then, last August. So when Alley and I had the opportunity to take a week-long vacation together, I suggested Montana immediately. Lucky for me, Alley agreed easily, and Diana had time off too, so she joined us. And just like that, I was going to Glacier National Park – a place I had wanted to visit for forever, you know?

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PCT Prep: Vanessa and the Productive, Warm, Delicious, Very Good Tuesday

I had a very productive day yesterday with regards to prepping for my 2017 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike, so even though I am actually currently gripped with intense anxiety about everything from handling the snow in the Sierra to which rain jacket I should buy to how I will handle being so far away from Alley for five whole months, I thought now might be a good time to check in with another handy dandy bullet point list re: my preparation. Here’s what’s up, aside from that pesky Anxiety Brain I’m experiencing.

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PCT Prep: Maps, Dried Vegetables, Gear, and More!

Okay, after writing my last PCT Prep post, I complained to everyone I love about how long it took me and how I’m anxious that my blogging style means I won’t be able to commit to updating regularly on trail. In an effort to get over myself and also to spare my patient loved ones from putting up with my silly blogging complaints, I’m trying out a different style for this post! Here’s some nitty gritty stuff I’ve been doing to prep for the trail, in short list form, without much chatter or ~intense thoughts~ behind it. Ready set go!

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PCT Prep: To Do Lists For Forever

Oh my gosh you guys, the responses to my post announcing that I’m gonna hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year have been THE BEST. Seriously, every single person who has reached out to me (or reached out to my mom, hi all of my mom’s friends who are reading this blog now, I am genuinely so pleased to have you here, welcome!) has been so nice and so enthusiastic and it is bringing me so much joy in what has honestly been a pretty dark time!

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Angel’s Rest, March 7th 2017

Spoiler alert, because if you’re gonna follow along with my PCT journey you’re gonna be getting to know me really well, so we may as well get this out of the way now: I wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. I thought she was gonna be. I’ve been really sad and anxious since the night of November 8th. There’s a lot to unpack in those sentences – obviously Hillary wasn’t going to fix everything for everyone, it’s a privilege to have felt safe in some capacity prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration, etc.

But without unpacking those sentences too much, I think I can still write them and have them be true – I have been so sad and anxious since Donald Trump became president. Most of the people in my life feel the same. Finding joy now has been harder than it was six months ago. It feels, in some ways, incredibly luxurious to choose to hike the PCT this year of all years. In other ways, it feels absolutely necessary. I’ll write about that more, I’m sure. But for now mostly what I want to articulate is that I am so happy that I am committing to this hike, and I am so happy to be receiving support and encouragement and enthusiasm from all of you! This blog is for me, but it is also for you. So hi, thank you for following along and being excited with me. It’s a pretty cool feeling to know y’all think this is neat and want me to succeed. Thank you!

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Happy Birthday, Buffy

Hi guys I know a lot of you just started following my blog 12 days ago when I announced that I’m going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year and I teased you with the idea that I’d be publishing a gear post ASAP and also a lot of other nerdy stuff about getting ready for my hike but I’m very sorry, I have to dash your hopes and dreams that this post might have anything to do with hiking because this is still my personal blog and today is a Very Special Day In My Personal Life because today is the day Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns 20!

(Yes, I said that all without stopping to take a breath.)

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