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Pacific Crest Trailblazing

March 27, 2018

One of our very own is truly living up to the "Little Traveler" name. Ellen Murphy—you might recognize her bright smile from our Christmas Rooms and Fair Trade Gallery—is heading out in a few short days to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the border of Mexico all the way to Canada. That's 2,650 miles! It'll be a 5 month endeavor to challenge herself and commune with some of the most beautiful nature our country has to offer.

As you can imagine, we had a lot of questions for our little traveler. Here are the answers to just a few:

Q: What have you done to mentally and physically prepare for your adventure?

To physically prepare, Ellen has been hitting the gym hard for the past year. She runs a mile every day, and you may not guess it by her small frame, but her focus on strength training has helped her build a lot of lean muscle—you do not want to mess with her.

Her mental preparation primarily centers on keeping a positive attitude. Deciding to take on such a daunting adventure comes with its fair share of naysayers and well-meaning folks who feel it's their duty to warn her about every terrifying possibility. Ellen is well aware of the hurdles and challenges she'll face. She blocks out negativity and doubt to stay positive, often repeating her affirming mantra: "I got this."

Q. A question she's heard over and over again—Why

A little over three years ago, after losing her mother, Ellen was handed the book Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. The book tells the true story of a young woman who struggles after her mother's death and ultimately finds herself during her journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. The story struck a chord with Ellen and has resonated. When she lived in Washington, she saw the beauty of parts of the trail and told herself, "Someday, I'm going to do this." Now she's doing it.

Q. Is there any particular stretch of the trail you're especially looking forward to?

She's particularly excited to climb to the pinnacle of Forester's Pass in the Sierra Nevada—nearly 14,000 feet! She's into mountain climbing, so reaching that goal will be both a literal and figurative high point for her. 

Q. Are you bringing any "luxury" items, i.e. something you don't necessarily need to survive?

Believe it or not, she considers a pillow a luxury item. She'd actually crossed pillow off of her list, thinking it wasn't necessary and would take up too much space. But she figured out a way to squish a small travel pillow into her bag, saying it will be "such a simple pleasure to me at the end of each long day." 

If you're curious about the supplies required for this trek. Ellen shares the equipment and supplies she's been gathering at her Go Fund Me page: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Donations made while she's on the trail will go toward resupplies and food she'll need along the way.

Follow along on Ellen's adventure at Instagram: minimurph91.

We're so proud of and excited for Ellen. We hope you'll join us in wishing her the very best on this adventure. In case she had any lingering doubts about taking on this challenge, she was given one last encouragement when she glanced down at the daily saying on the calendar in our Fair Trade Gallery—on the very day of our interview.

Yep, she's got this!



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