Sisters Charlotte and Amelia Goff wanted to celebrate Charlotte’s 2015 graduation from Macalester College with a sister-bonding trip. Amelia was on her semester break from the Yale School of Nursing before her summer job started. Their hike to Pilot Rock and along the Pacific Crest Trail gave them time to reflect on health, work and family tradition.
C: “I needed a pause from trying to “figure out” the next step in my life. I had never been to the Pacific Northwest but had always hoped to have the opportunity to experience the area’s famous natural beauty”
A: Public lands and preservation of wilderness is often undervalued by our younger generation, as urbanization becomes the accepted ideal. Walking the Pacific Crest Trail and admiring the new trails in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is so meditative, strikingly beautiful, and ecologically diverse.
C: “An unexpected surprise of the experience of hiking the PCT was the excitement I felt identifying the wildflowers and birds I spotted along the way!”
A: “Charlotte and I both share a deep love of the outdoors. We enjoy being active. Going into the nursing profession as a nurse practitioner so much of the focus is on preventative medicine and the links to better health outcomes if people can embrace healthy lifestyles--I really value being out in the natural environment to stay healthy.
C: “Amelia and I had hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the high sierras almost exactly four years ago. It was the summer before I started my first year of college. To then hike a different part of the trail right after graduating was wonderfully symbolic in a way that neither of us had anticipated!
A: Charlotte and I get to carry on our family’s tradition, and we hope to do more of the PCT together in the future.
The book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and the movie, starring Reese Witherspoon has energized a number of hikers on the PCT. From the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, you can access the PCT--19 miles.
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is a place where each individual can explore at their own pace and experience their own personal wild--several days or a just a few hours. Hike for your health; hike to share a family tradition.