A Welcome Rejection

Usually rejections are accompanied by regret or demorialization, but I can honestly say this rejection comes as a welcome relief.

I had applied for a Pacific Crest Trail sponsorship, and today I got this message:

Thanks for applying to our mYAMAdventure program.  This is the part of the program that I hate: I’m afraid we’re not able to extend an invitation to you this year.  We received over 100 applications, and narrowing them down to just five was a true challenge.  It’s a shame we can’t work with all of you.

I wish you all the best in your pursuits on the PCT!  If you haven’t already, check out the following resources for a start with your planning:

Yogi’s PCT Handbook: http://www.yogisbooks.com/pacific-crest-trail/pct-yogis-pacific-crest-trail-handbook
pct-l mailing list: http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/pct-l
Postholer forums: http://postholer.com/

Yay! Making the starting date for the hike would have put too much pressure in my already stressed-to-the-limit life. And it would not have brought me the simplicity I crave. As I have learned, thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is an athletic event where participants challenge themselves to complete the hike within the allotted weather window, more of an obstacle race than the transcendental walk I had envisioned!

So, where does this leave me? When I figure that out, I’ll let you know.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

 

Dreams of Walking the Pacific Crest Trail

mYAMAdventure.com is sponsoring a fund raiser for the Pacific Crest Trail, and they are looking for five thru-hikers to do the fund raising for them. (A thru-hiker is someone who hikes the entire trail in one season.) In return, the hikers will get some gear to help them offset the expenses as well as advice from experienced hikers. I promised a friend I’d apply, and so I did. For me, it’s a win win situation. If I get accepted, I’ll be finally following the dream of an epic adventure. If I don’t get accepted, I won’t have to follow through on such an idiotic idea. Here are my responses to the application questions:

What draws you to the Pacific Crest Trail and to long-distance hiking?What do you find attractive about it?  Is there something you seek?  Something you hope to get out of the experience?

About twenty years ago, my life mate/soul mate almost died. I was so grief-stricken at the thought of his being gone that I knew only something as challenging as walking the Pacific Crest Trail would help me through my grief and perhaps change my life to such an extent that I could survive the loss. He survived that crisis, and although he continued to be sickly, he lived for another fifteen years. When he died four and a half years ago, I came to look after my nonagenarian father. The only things that kept me sane and stress free were my walks/hikes with the local Sierra Club and dreaming about big adventures. Now that my father is gone and I am basically alone, I still hold on to the dream — not just about meeting the physical challenge but undergoing some sort of transcendental experience — but my age and level of experience (or rather, non-experience) make me wonder if it is feasible. But maybe . . .

What about the mYAMAdventure program attracts you?  What do you most hope to get out of it?

Help with gear and planning. When I researched the possibility of hiking the trail a couple of years ago, the number of gear choices was so great that figuring out the right products to take seemed an insurmountable task. It’s not like shopping for a casual weekend camping trip — when you hike such a trail, your very life depends on those products.

What are your biggest concerns about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail?

Carrying a heavy pack (even 30 pounds seems out of my range) and enough water. Especially water. Now, if I could dehydrate water so I would have plenty, I’d be much more sanguine about my chances of finishing the hike. (I do have a lot of hiking friends near the waterless Mojave part of the trail. Maybe they can be my trail angels to ensure my hydration.)

Please describe your level of hiking and backpacking experience.  Have you ever attempted a long-distance hike?  If so, tell us a little about it.

I used to hike three to five miles every day in the nearby desert until I started taking dance classes (I take eight classes a week by last count), now I only average about two miles a day. I’ve gone on several three to five mile hikes on the PCT, which fueled my desire to go the whole way (and also made me realize what a challenge it would be). No backpacking experience.

How far along in your PCT planning are you, if at all?

No planning. Just a little research as to what I could expect.

Have you ever fundraised before?  If so, please describe:

When I was a kid, I went door to door collecting money for March of Dimes. Does that count?

What do you think is a realistic fundraising goal for you?  How do you think you’ll go about raising the $2,000 for the PCTA?

I have a bit of a following on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. I would blog, of course, and do updates on both Facebook and Twitter. Maybe check with my walking group to see if any of them would know anyone who would help. And perhaps talk to local sporting goods stores to see what they would suggest.

Do you currently maintain a blog?  If so, please provide the address:

https://ptbertram.wordpress.com.

Do you have any samples of your photography (available online) that you wouldn’t mind us checking out?  If so, please provide links.

This is my photography blog: http://waywordwind.wordpress.com/

Do you plan to carry a mobile device with a data plan?

Yes

Do you have a ball park figure of how much you think this hike will cost you?  What is it

$6,000 (I really don’t know — that is the number my research a couple of years came up with. Apparently, the number one reason for quitting a hike is running out of money.)

Are you planning to hike the trail regardless of participation in this program?  Describe any possible issues or conflicts you might have regarding a commitment to hike the trail.

Not now. Maybe someday. I am planning on walking additional miles once my life has settled down a bit, in the hopes of one day experiencing such an epic adventure.

What is your level of certainty for getting the time off work/school/whatever to hike the trail? (you’ll select at 1 – 5 type rating on the application)

Absolute certainty

What sets you apart from the other applicants?  Is there anything special you can offer the program?

I am a published author — four novels and one nonfiction book about grief. I also have a loyal blog following. (I’ve been blogging for seven years, and for the past three years I’ve been posting every day.)

What is one question you’d add to next year’s application?  Any that you’d remove?

No changes

How did you hear about mYAMAdventure?

A fellow walker/hiker

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Do You Dream Of Walking The Pacific Crest Trail?

Do you dream of walking the Pacific Crest Trail but need a push to get you going? Is so, then check out http://myamadventure.com/program-details/. The program, sponsored by Yama Mountain Gear, a company that manufactures and sells ultralight tarps and tents, is primarily a fundraiser to help benefit the Pacific Crest Trail Association (and indirectly, Yama, too, I’m sure). The five applicants chosen to take part in the program will be expected raise $2000 for the PCTA, to blog, and to be willing to share their stories and photos with the public and the various sponsors of the hike.

Although some gear will be provided, as well as mentors to help the winning applicants prepare for the hike, the hikers will hike their own hike. Eek. A daunting idea, just as daunting as when I considered doing it all on my own. The main problem for me has always been the sheer bulk of materials and supplies that need to be carried for 2,660 miles. And water. Now, if water could be dehydrated, that would solve a major issue for me, but apparently, dehydrated water is no water at all.

Still, I promised a friend I would apply before the November 15, 2014 deadline. Now it’s just a matter of coming up with compelling responses to the following questions:

  1. What draws you to the Pacific Crest Trail and to long-distance hiking? What do you find attractive about it?  Is there something you seek?  Something you hope to get out of the experience?
  2. What about the mYAMAdventure program attracts you?  What do you most hope to get out of it?
  3. What are your biggest concerns about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail?
  4. Please describe your level of hiking and backpacking experience.  Have you ever attempted a long-distance hike?  If so, tell us a little about it. (You don’t need any experience to participate in the program.)
  5. How far along in your PCT planning are you, if at all?
  6. Have you ever fundraised before?  If so, please describe:
  7. What do you think is a realistic fundraising goal for you?  How do you think you’ll go about raising the $2,000 for the PCTA? (We’re not expecting a well thought out plan here, just trying to get a general idea of how you think you might approach the fundraising aspect of the program.)
  8. Do you currently maintain a blog?  If so, please provide the address: If you don’t have a blog or website you’d like to share with us, skip this question.
  9. Do you have any samples of your photography (available online) that you wouldn’t mind us checking out?  If so, please provide links. For example, a link to your Instagram, Flickr, or Tumblr account.
  10. Do you plan to carry a mobile device with a data plan? (yes/no/not sure)
  11. Do you have a ball park figure of how much you think this hike will cost you?  What is it?
  12. Are you planning to hike the trail regardless of participation in this program?  Describe any possible issues or conflicts you might have regarding a commitment to hike the trail.
  13. What is your level of certainty for getting the time off work/school/whatever to hike the trail? (you’ll select at 1 – 5 type rating on the application)
  14. What sets you apart from the other applicants?  Is there anything special you can offer the program? Some skill?  Something about your personality?
  15. What is one question you’d add to next year’s application?  Any that you’d remove?
  16. How did you hear about mYAMAdventure?

Feel free to enter! If you get accepted, I’ll do what I can to help promote your hike.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.