VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 67-year-old Vancouver man is attempting to complete the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail.
Bob is just one of the many hikers KGW is following as they trudge their way up from a small town near the Mexican border to the U.S.-Canada border for a series called Thru Their Eyes.
“I've always thought about doing something crazy like this,” Bob said. He's a member of a local walking club and is used to covering some long distances. For instance, he’s walked 40 miles in a day. He loves to hike and, in the past, has run marathons.
“I'm at the point where OK, I've got a one-way ticket to San Diego and there's nothing really to stop me from doing this,” he said.
Bob started his journey on the Pacific Crest Trail on April 6. He has tempered his expectations through a lens of humility, realizing walking is different than hiking the terrain he’s going to encounter.
“I know I've got the capability to do this, but I used to run when I was in high school. And I remember getting on the starting line and at the worst case of butterflies, just felt terrified before the race,” he said. "Once I got into the race, everything settled down and I was fine. And I'm starting to feel that now at the age of 67. I often say, ‘oh my gosh, what am I doing here?’ You know? It's starting to sink in.”
After a week on the trail, he’s covered over 70 miles, figuring out his routine and getting his hiking legs under him. Before he left, Bob smiled and said he was “terrified” about tackling the PCT. He knows he needs to take it one step at a time.
“If I hit the 100-mile point, that's going to be a celebration. I'm going to take it in increments, a little bit at a time. It's going to build confidence if I achieve these small goals. I get through the first week. If I get through the first 100 miles, the first resupply, the first everything, it’s going to be a minor victory for me. It's going to help me to solidify that feeling that, ‘yeah, I can do this.’”
Whether you are a long-distance hiker or taking a stroll around the neighborhood is more your style, find a way to get out there and take that first step. Bob hopes his journey inspires other to do just that.
“Every goal you set and every goal that you achieve is something that builds your own self-esteem. And I think it's a very healthy thing to do to set goals and achieve them.”
Thru Their Eyes is a series by Let's Get Out There reporter Jon Goodwin. Let's Get Out There airs once a week on KGW's 4 p.m. newscast and The Good Stuff, which airs Monday-Thursday at 7 p.m. Follow along on the PCT hikers' journey with updates on Jon Goodwin's Facebook page.