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Jan. 26: Lecture: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail at the Lopez Library

Emma Ewert and Mike Rosekrans hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2022. Hear them share stories from their journey, the process of planning and organizing a  five-month, 2650 mile trip, and what they learned along the way from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 26 in the Lopez Library Community Room.

Here is what they say:

Who would want to spend 5 months living in a tent, walking 2650 miles through scorching desert and some of the highest and most rugged terrain in North America? In the summer of 2022, Emma Ewert and I (Mike Rosekrans) did just that, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT spans the length of the contiguous United States, from the Mexican border to Manning Park in Canada.

Our goal was to reconnect with the west coast mountains, and to share this adventure together. After living in Montana for five years, it was a symbolic way to return home to the Pacific Northwest. Would it be an adventure, a pilgrimage, a journey, a quest, a honeymoon or just a big mistake? On March 8, 2022, Emma and I found ourselves in Campo, California at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Regardless of what we called it, we were walking home.

The trail had been a dream of ours since before we met. Emma spent much of her childhood adventuring in the North Cascades with her family. Both her parents were no strangers to adventure, and she grew up with their stories about spending time trekking in the Himalayas and eluding grizzly bears in the Brooks Range of Alaska. I took my first steps on the PCT while living in Big Bear, CA during my first job in environmental education. After growing up with limited hiking in the upper Midwest, a continuous wilderness path from Mexico to Canada seemed the most epic of journeys one could attempt.

We both had our personal connection to the trail, but this was also a joint adventure, and one we could not have accomplished alone. One of the biggest challenges we faced was spending every single moment together and making every decision together for the next five months. After the long process of getting an actual permit, we had to ask ourselves “how do we budget for this, what should we do for a meal plan, what gear should we take, how should we train, and how will we live together on the trail hiking 20 miles per day for 5 months?” The answers to these questions changed many times over the course of planning for and hiking the trail, but we always worked them out together.

Over the months we spent hiking, we had to navigate water shortages, fire closures, high altitude dangers, snow and heat. We witnessed the effects of climate change on the landscape, and gained an appreciation for the work it takes to build and maintain the trails we so often take for granted. We collectively wore out 10 pairs of shoes, spent almost 150 nights outside, and gained a lasting aversion to cous-cous. We also experienced countless sunsets, met amazing people, and had the experience of a lifetime.

Come join us on January 26th to hear about our journey! Learn about how we planned for our hike, kept ourselves safe and nourished, adapted to each other’s needs on the trail, and ultimately grew stronger as a partnership. See our favorite photos and reflections of the incredible landscapes that inspired us to get out there and walk for over 2000 miles. We will also be talking about issues pertaining to outdoor recreation and climate change, including overcrowding, ecosystem impacts, and the extended drought and wildfire seasons. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to hike the PCT and have the support of our friends and community and we are excited to share our adventure with you.


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