A few months ago I shared with you the first part of this great experience. (Pacific Way Part 1), From a dream that for many years helped me build a life in the company of nature and the mountains.
And a couple of weeks ago I came back and I’m ready to share my experience on one of the most visited trails in the world.
I want to write carefully, I want to be very responsible with my lyrics because talking about nature and its care is very delicate, especially in recent times.
And practicing hiking or any activity in the mountains is in trend and increases uncontrollably every year and unfortunately it has a very important and very direct impact with nature, especially now that it is fashionable to create the famous selfies within natural settings on different platforms. digital.
The Pacific Crest Trail has been for many years the scene of thousands of stories that, like mine, have been inspired by the beautiful landscapes of so many videos, books, testimonials and movies and of course (photos on Instagram) that have been made on it. Every year this trail is visited by thousands of hikers from different parts of the world, which personally worries me, because I have seen a lot of garbage on the trail, as well as a major drought in different areas and the chilling change in many landscapes that until now A few years ago, it looked different.
Paco and I spent about 3 weeks on the trail and walked approximately 145 km. Doing short stretches from Echo Lake- to Cascades Locks. (Northern California to the Washington border)
Visiting places like Mount Shasta, Etna Summit, Lake Tahoe, Burney Falls, Ashland, Klamath Falls, Portland, Eagle creek trail and finally Seattle.
We walk, we travel by train and by car, that is; we follow the path through these three forms.
During the first days from Echo Lake and Desolation Wilderness, we changed the main plan because we realized that walking the trail from start to finish would be impossible for Paco and me due to weight and food, since Paco can only walk approx. 20 km per day and leaving the trail is not possible since many sections of the trail are quite long, in addition to the fact that in many areas within the trail pets are not allowed.
That’s why we decided to leave the path and do only “DAYS IN THE PCT”, I think that being honest with ourselves makes us very brave. And all forms are valid.
Once off the trail, to get to it you need to go into nature and it is not accessible.
Which forces you to use a car, otherwise it is not possible.
This is how we transformed our adventure and gave ourselves the opportunity to be the creators of a way to do the trail with a pet.
Each Apia walked an average of 25 km, we planned 2 days on the trail, we camped one or maximum two nights on the trail and returned to the starting point. We moved from one place to another by car and returned to the path, until completing the most emblematic points of the path.
In several places we stayed several days to hit a little more of the local trails in the area, for example: Monta Shasta, Ashland and Portland.
In this way we were able to complete our objective and enjoy those beautiful days on the Pacific trail.
The really important thing for me was to be able to enjoy this adventure with Paco and for him to be safe at all times.
And I feel that trips and books are abandoned because there is no way to end them, I feel that neither can have an end, that is why now, after a couple of weeks at home after this journey, there are things that begin to emerge and I am very excited to share them with you.
The first thing I want to share with you is the beauty of this trail, how surprising it is to enter the wildlife of so many natural destinations, how nostalgic it is to still have such beautiful places far from civilization.
It fills me with satisfaction to know that there are those places where many species can still feel safe.
However, the number of hikers is increasing every year and that worries me. Because despite the fact that there is an association behind it that works towards the conservation of that trail, (Pacific Crest Trail Association) which since 1977 protects, maintains and defends the trail, but I believe no institution is enough to curb the impact that our actions have. .
I felt very uncomfortable and irresponsible for enjoying a path that I do not take care of and protect in my day to day from home.
Being on the trail marked a before and after in my life.
I would love that the number of people who decide to take care of these places and visit them with great respect also increases.
The second thing I want to share with you is all that is lived on a path: Fear and loneliness.
Although I have already done several trails with Paco over the years, when you visit the mountain, it is always like the first time.
Life in the mountains is situated so much in the moments, in the present, that it is difficult to understand, even professionals continue to fail when they try to explain life in the mountains.
Being with her and talking about her is something very untamed, something totally inexplicable.
That’s why, despite -all those times- that I camped, walked with Paco and reached the top of some mountains, I felt fear again.
Fear of the depth of loneliness in the mountains, being so vulnerable within it, thinking that at night any type of animal could visit me, (listening to some testimonies of recent encounters with black bears and other animals) the first nights I felt very vulnerable and could not sleep.
It had been a long time since I experienced something similar, perhaps it served to remind me that the mountain is something that none of us can understand, much less control.
It was beautiful to feel vulnerable, it was really honest to feel that way and not try to be something else on the mountain. I liked recognizing myself that way.
The last thing I want to share with you is:
If your wishes are to visit a mountain or a natural space soon, be extremely careful with your actions.
Do not leave the trail to take any photos, do not touch or move the stones of the rivers, do not leave food and garbage, DO NOT FEED ANY SPECIES, take the necessary water and the necessary food and make sure that everything you take with you, COMES BACK WITH YOU. Especially if it will be a long walk or if you plan to camp somewhere.
I ask you in the kindest way.
After this trail I have decided not to return to the mountain for a long time.
The trails need a break, the small lakes, rivers or small streams are really scarce for the animals that live there.
Respect the water and food that are for the species that live there.
During this trail I saw many hikers take the water from those tiny streams without thinking about the species that live there. (Birds, deer, bears, squirrels, and a long etcetera).
Let us be more aware of the situation in natural spaces.
Especially if you practice some type of sport that invites you to enter the wild nature.
And I think we should question whether a photo on Instagram is really important to cause the impact we cause within natural spaces.
Lately, the discourse of going to nature to feel peace and have a better life has directly affected these natural spaces because sadly that “intention” to change our lives is not accompanied by other actions in our day to day life, and when we visit nature, we do not know what we cause with our “therapeutic visits”
I believe that if we want to create a change in our lives, it must be from within and from there, we will walk better and respect the world around us more.
And with this, I also want to propose a challenge to you.
Many of us go to the mountains in the company of our pets and I emphasize respecting and educating our 4-legged friends to respect those spaces. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM AT EVERY MOMENT.
And during this experience with Paco, this project was born that I want to share with you.
I have called it “MANO MONTAÑA”, since I realized that the usual walks can be transformed into walks that generate hope for those natural areas that are affected by the unbridled increase in tourists in natural areas.
The little walks with PACO that were transformed into BEACH CLEANING, since I live on an island and the amount of garbage that tourists leave on the beaches is SCARY.
And I have realized that we can really generate a change with just 15 minutes of walking.
HAND MOUNTAIN, is an invitation. “A walk, a hope” and consists of walks with your dog becoming small actions that positively impact our planet.
Do we do it together?
Use the #MANOMONTAÑA to create a community of walks that generate hope. On my instagram: KARLAANDPACO, I leave you all the information you need if you want to join.
The change is collective.
Your comments are really important