It’s nearly a week from my departure date, and my apartment has exploded in gear and resupply food and ziplocs, more ziplocs than any human should ever need. I’ve spent evenings surrounded by the pages of Yogi’s Guide, figuring out where to stop, where to shop, where to mail and when; squinting to interpret the initially-arcane PCT Water Report; making sure I’ve got maps in both hard copy and soft copy. I’ve also tended to a dozen more real-world things than I’ve cared to – what are taxes and car registrations and employer meetings in comparison to hiking? – but I’m not there yet, I’m here, and even though I’ve taken care of business in every instance that’s come up, I still feel as though I’m forgetting something.
Like, after getting this amazing, entirely-unexpected opportunity, paying it forward.
So I’ve decided to fundraise for Big City Mountaineers again. Big City Mountaineers is an organization devoted to mentoring under-served urban youth in the outdoors, offering over 1,000 teens per year the opportunity to participate in single day, overnight, and week-long expeditions in the backcountry. These trips are given free of charge to participants in hopes they will foster new connections with themselves, with their peers, with volunteer mentors, and with the environment. As urban youth are preponderantly youth of color, I thought it appropriate that a hiker encouraging folks of all colors to get outside support an organization with a similar cause.
So if you’d like to help me spread the outdoorsy love, please consider donating. Even a $5 donation supports a teen’s full day in the backcountry; every little effort counts. And to sweeten the pot a little, any donation of $30 or more will see a postcard from the trail in return!
…starting in about a week.
So it’ s buying smartwater bottles for their lids and buying a pack of trash compactor bags for a single one and turning local places upside down for leukotape, and then… walking.
And hoping that, with your help, I can help others experience the challenge, the escape, and the solace there is to be found in exploring the great outdoors.