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Meredith "Skinny D" Ishida
Begins: Apr 15, 2013
Date: Thu, Mar 21st, 2013
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Pacific Crest Trail Map
The Pacific Crest Trail is a wilderness trail running 2660 miles, from Mexico to Canada, through California, Oregon and Washington. It is routed directly through old-growth forests, alpine meadows, hot springs, lava beds and a glacier. It runs across the Mojave Desert and along the backbones of the great western mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades. It briefly enters three small towns and crosses numerous roads, from lonely logging tracks to the I-10.
Every year, some 300-600 people, called thruhikers, attempt to walk the entire Pacific Crest Trail in one season. They generally begin at the border just south of San Diego in late April or early May then hike northward, through heat and snow, crossing raging rivers as well as 20-mile waterless stretches. They carry food, shelter, clothing, all they need to walk all day, eat, sleep, and rise at dawn to walk some more, stopping perhaps once or twice a week to resupply and rest.
In 2011, I was one of the lucky ones who wandered from Mexico to Canada. The journey changed me and I fell in love with the land more deeply than I ever had before. In the 18 months since my thruhike ended, the call to return to those mountains has arisen, first quietly, then louder and louder, until I could no longer ignore it. I had to hike again.
And so this year I will once again roll my tent, stuff raisins into ziplocs, hoist my pack, and start walking down the trail. This journey is different; I carry more this year. Not on my back but in my heart. This year, I will hike to benefit Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos, the agency where I have worked for the past five years. Casa de Esperanza serves families in crisis and provides foster care to children who need a safe place to live until they can return to a more stable environment.
Casa de Esperanza provides these services completely free of charge, and receives no money from the government. It subsists entirely on donations; everything, from the food the children eat, to the gasoline that fuels the cars, to the paper that we keep records on, has come from people who gave willingly and generously.
I want to help Casa de Esperanza continue to serve these children, the most vulnerable individuals of our society. And what can I do? I can walk. Perhaps someone will be inspired to donate a penny, a dime, even a dollar, for each mile that I hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Perhaps that penny will allow a child to drink an extra sip of milk, or that dollar will let us make another trip to doctor. Does this seem insignificant? Well, just as each mile on the Pacific Crest Trail seems so small, so tiny, it adds up. Take a step at a time, all day, every day, and before you know it, you've walked across the country, 2660 miles. A penny at a time, a dime, a dollar, and before you know it, you've saved a child's life.
Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos is an organization caring for children in crisis. After working there for five years, I am now hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to raise the money that will allow children at Casa de Esperanza to live, grow, and thrive.
I will walk, and I will carry these children in my heart. Won't you join us?
Make a contribution at http://www.hikefor.com/SkinnyD/PCT/2013