It is my great return to work, after a 5-month long adventure on the “Pacific Crest Trail”!
The goal: to walk 4240 kilometers on the western side of the United States, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. This hike, abbreviated “PCT”, is known worldwide as one of the most spectacular, including varied landscapes and climates. From the snowy mountains and glaciers of the North Cascades in Washington to the temperate forests and lava fields of Oregon, through the extraordinary Sierra Nevada high mountains, all the way to the Southern California desert, the trail offers incredible views and impressive challenges.
I have had this project in mind for many years, during which I told myself that I would love to one day achieve it. However, I realized that there would never be a perfect moment; I had to create it and start planning this adventure immediately. Having already had the opportunity to take a leave without pay for 5 months in summer 2021, I broached the subject to Yannick, my employer, knowing that my well-being and personal projects were important to him.
To my great joy, he confirmed that I could take a second long unpaid leave to fulfill this dream that was so important to me. Yannick showed great flexibility and open-mindedness, giving me all the time needed to take my hike, with an agreement that I would be back to work at Beslogic when it was completed.
Thus, I left Quebec on June 21, 2022, to land in Seattle and complete the final preparations before setting out on the trail.
Here is an overview of my journey:
The North Cascades mountains were still covered in snow at the end of June, so I had to wait an additional week before starting the hike, for safety reasons. Nonetheless, I still had to walk through some high snow during the first two weeks of my trip.
Every 3 to 7 days, a town or small village was accessible, where I could stop to get the necessary food for my next section, charge my electronic devices, replace my used equipment if needed, eat enormous amounts of calories, and sometimes even rest… just a little! I could afford to take one rest day every 2 weeks, on average.
The rest of the time, the schedule was simple: wake up, pack my tent and the rest of my equipment in my backpack, walk my daily 30 to 64 kilometers, eat, set my campsite for the night and sleep, before doing it all over again the next day!
After 137 days of hiking, numerous storms, 5 forest fires or completely burnt forests, many muscle aches, a lot of tiredness and even a throat infection requiring a hospitalization, intense heat and freezing cold temperatures, giggles and bliss, moments of sadness and frustration, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and most of all incredible friendships and countless acts of generosity, I finally return home, ready to go back to work as a web developer.
I absolutely loved the almost constant connection with nature, but I am eager to start coding again. Thank you so much to Yannick and Beslogic for offering me this opportunity, allowing me to grow as a person, push my personal limits and fulfill one of my wildest dreams!
It was a priceless experience, and I am very grateful for it.