Hiking through the wilderness, now 745 miles in, I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks about how to survive in the woods, physically and mentally. Eat snacks often. Tighten your backpack hip belt every hour. Take a shower every chance you have. Don’t fight your urge to pee in the middle of the night, just get out of the tent and go.
But there is one trick that rules them all, and it’s a trick I already knew, but this trip has reasserted how essential it is: Get Andrea Gee on your side.
If you’ve ever met my mom, you know she’s a force of nature. Without her, I’d still be hiking the PCT, but it definitely wouldn’t be as easy or as enjoyable. Actually, I probably wouldn’t be hiking the PCT, because if she hadn’t dragged a semi-unwilling son into the outdoors for 18 years, there is no way I would have had the proper appreciation of the outdoors to go on this adventure in the first place. But even though 18-years-old is long past, my mom hasn’t let up, and without any prompting (yup, sounds like my mom), she has devoted her time and energy to making my trip as successful as possible.
This is nothing new for my mom, and not just in the lives of her children. She has constantly and persistently, as a lawyer, in Girl Scouts, and among friends, worked to enhance the lives of others without anything in it for herself. It’s astonishing, and it’s a wonder as to where she finds the energy.
So thank you mom, not just for the packages of food and the logistical coordination, but for setting an example of the kind of selfless person whom I aspire to be in my own life. I love you, and I’m proud to be your son.