You are about to graduate from college. What do you do next? Search for a job? Work on your resume? Move into your parents’ basement? For Madison, Brandon, and Kirby, none of these were the right path. Instead, these Lipscomb University graduates decided to seek an adventure. Starting today, May 11th, they will start their journey of hiking all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail spans from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. It takes the average thru-hiker about five months to walk the entire trail. Typical hikers will leave Mexico in April or May and reach Canada at the end of September. The trail crosses 26 national forests, seven national parks, five state parks and four national monuments. The PCT has been featured in movies such as “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon as a woman who hikes the trail solo to recover from a recent catastrophe.
The trail is known for fostering a great community. Hikers who have completed the trail in the past have commented on the overwhelming sense of generosity and sharing. “On the trail, it is rare for a hiker to wait long for something they need. The need is always met just shortly around the corner by another hiker’s generosity,” says Elizabeth Ketterer, a hiker currently trekking the PCT.
So what inspired these three 22-year-old’s to take on this feat? Madison, a Californian striving to one day work for the UN, says she has driven past the PCT ever since she was little, but never actually thought she would muster the courage to take it on. Brandon, a biology major from Smyrna, Tennessee, wants to accomplish this goal before he heads off to pharmacy school next year. Kirby, an aspiring art therapist, is craving adventure, travel, and a purpose driven, relational life. All three, self-named the Nashville Nomads, are hoping to use this experience to test their wills and also get closer to God.
The “nomads” have a goal to complete the trail by October 1st, giving them almost five months to make it to the Canadian border. They will be rocking PURSUIT and PURSUIT THIN WOOL socks to keep them warm while they are hiking through high altitudes.