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Life on the PCT: the trail we now call home

Post by: Kirby Arloff of the Nashville Nomads.  


“Some days I want to quit hiking the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). Actually, almost every single day out here, I have a few thoughts of quitting and of the comforts that are awaiting me back home. Sweet family, the best of friends, a city I love and am familiar with, the boy. I plan the escape route to the nearest road where I know I can get a hitch a ride to the airport, hop on a plane, and have two parents waiting for me with a big hug in store. It’s tempting, let me tell you that. 

Nashville Nomads

Brandon & Kirby: the Nashville Nomads

But then it’s those small moments of pure bliss when the sun is shimmering just so. Gracefully, it bends along the top of a winding stream, and you sit down after a long, hot day of 22 miles through the desert with some of the people that feel like family out here, and get to process out loud with them this wild journey we’re all on together. 

It’s the quiet mornings of sipping hot coffee, watching the birds circle and sing above you. It’s the days you show up in a completely unfamiliar city, and get gargantuan hugs from familiar friends who have been traveling the trail with your for hundreds of miles. It’s the random escapade into a karaoke night, only to find all of your fellow hiker-trash taking over the bar, and being dragged onto a stage with a friend named Cheddah to sing R Kelly’s “Ignition,” all the while wearing Crocs. (I promise this is normal out here. They will be thrown in the garbage immediately upon arrival back in the real world.)

Sierra Lake

Sierra Lake

It’s the curve of the trail that reveals a crystal-clear Sierra Lake, and getting to jump into the so-cold-you-can’t-breathe water with a smile so wide my trail name might as well be “Cheesin” (although I think I’ll stick with Kibble and Bits, which is the name I go by out here).

It’s getting to eat nine large meals every single day and still having a raging hiker hunger. It’s the opening of my resupply box, only to find a blow-up pillow and letters from family and friends. 

It’s a combo of all these small moments out here that keep me taking step after step, climbing mountain after mountain. You can ask anyone here, and they will all tell you, it’s not the walking we enjoy. In fact, that’s probably our least favorite part. We are here for the small but significant memories we are making along this trail we now call home.”

The “Nashville Nomads” consist of Lipscomb University graduates Kirby and Brandon, who decided to seek an adventure after graduation. They are hiking all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and have been on the trail since May 11th. They expect to finish the hike in October. The “nomads” are wearing the PURSUITPURSUIT THIN WOOL and VISION socks on their adventure. Follow their adventures on their Instagram.

Want an on-the-trail taste of PCT life? Check out this video: hiking the PCT in three minutes.


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