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Kelly Bessem is preparing to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for EJ and BA

Trail Dolphin

Kelly Bessem

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail     Goal: 2659 Miles
Dates: Jun 007 2017 - Nov 30 2017
Hey, I'm a recent Humboldt State graduate who is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for all sorts of reasons (see my journal or blog for elaboration), one of them being that I'd like to find my focus in how to contribute positively to the world. ... more
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Journal
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Why I'm hiking the PCT

Anaheim Hills, CA - Mile 0 - May 31st, 2017

In the final week before my PCT thru-hike, I'm reading Pacific Crest Trials by Zach Davis and Carly Moree. I'm reading this because though I trust my gear and physical ability to get me through the whole trail, I still do not feel strong enough mentally. I'm sure I won't fully feel strong enough until I actually complete the trail, but there's definitely some things I can improve upon! The book suggests carrying a list of why you are hiking the PCT to look over in trying times. Sounds like a great idea. Here's mine:
-I'm disillusioned with mainstream society and its affinity to self-destruct. I went to school to be better equipped to contribute positive change to the world, but have lost some faith in that. Will I actually be making a change, or just operating within a framework that can't be reframed? In a system of unending paperwork and red tape, will I be any more influential than a robot just following orders? I know I can do something, I've just lost focus
-To understand what my identity is when I am truly alone and without the pressures of conformity
-To rejuvenate my mind so that I am again a better friend in the crowds
-The trail lifestyle harnesses the free, community-based, anti-materialistic lifestyle that tends to only focus on what really matters in life-- a lifestyle that I am most content with
-I feel very disconnected from nature after spending so much time indoors while finishing my BA degree
-I would like to draw new connections between all of the thoughts and information that I crammed into my head while in school and make some sense of it, so that I can translate this into positive action
-I'd like to be able to help others connect more with nature, but need to connect more myself before I can do this
-I may not be able to complete the trail when I'm older, for whatever reasons. I feel like the time to do it is now, not "someday"
-To find a clearer life path-- whether that involves getting a masters degree or not
-To reset my habits and health-- I feel pretty drained after finishing college
-To humble myself and get a new perspective of the world
-To get over my biggest fear once and for all: being alone
-I'm not sure if I can handle the mental challenge of completing the PCT, and want to prove to myself and others than I can

Trail Dolphin

Anaheim Hills, CA - Mile 0 - May 31st, 2017

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