We love adventuring… we saved up money, got in shape, and told everyone we are going to thru-hike the PCT!
Oh right, we have responsibilities.
- A dog named Waldo.
- An Apartment lease.
- Our Furniture/Stuff.
It was not an easy decision to leave our dog Waldo behind during our 5 month trek. We got asked, “Why don’t you bring your dog with you?” To take a dog on any long distance hike really depends on the dog. Not every dog loves to hike 20+ miles a day through varying weather conditions for months on end. The PCT in particular is not dog friendly. Going through desert conditions with limited water for over 700 miles is not what dogs sign up for; not to mention the 1900 miles after that. So that brings us to the dreaded question: What to do with Waldo for 5 months? We came up with a variety of ideas:
- Sublease our apartment for cheap and have the tenant take care of Waldo.
- Have some friends watch over him who also have a dog.
- Look online for a long-distance hiking group to see if they have a dog swap for issues just like this.
- Ask our parents (who live across the USA).
- Find a foster family who likes taking in dogs.
For all these options there are more questions that come.
- How much do you pay someone for watching your dog for 5 months?
- What source of money do you give these people for food, medicine, vet visits, emergencies?
- What happens if they decide they no longer want the responsibility?
We went back and forth between subletting our apartment or letting our lease end a month and a half before the trail. We decided to let our lease run out and tent in my sister’s backyard for the remainder of the time. By not having a place to come back to after hiking we can be open to any new opportunities that may come our way.
“What are you going to do with all your stuff?”
This is a common question we get each time we announce a new adventure. The first time we thru-hiked, we emptied our apartment but stored a lot of extras in my parent’s attic. Since then we have moved three times, minimizing our items to half a car full. We are savy with what we find at yard sales and there’s always ‘alley shopping.’ It’s amazing the nice items people put next to dumpsters, simply not wanting to haul things to Goodwill. Since we are no longer attached to our things we can simply decide to pack up and move in a jiffy and that feels great.
Those things that make it possible to save up money for adventures. Jake and I don’t always get the most glamorous jobs, but we get what’s available and motivate ourselves with thoughts of our future endeavors. We work hard, get good recommendations, then go off and adventure. Since we have only ourselves and Waldo to worry about we dont let jobs define the choices we make. Both Jake and I have grown immensely through this process, as it has included a lot of interviews, jumping into new situations, and going with the flow. We have both become a lot more confident and met some incredible people along the way.