Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
After hitting it off as outdoor education instructors, Melissa and I decided to go on a weeklong backpacking trip to explore Desolation Wilderness. This trip provided rich experiences to bond with each other, make memories, and generate jokes that are still brought up today. We witnessed breathtaking views of small alpine lakes sprinkled amongst the bleak granite landscape, mosquitos taunted them, and Melissa even managed to catch a fish with a trekking pole. I have always felt that when you walk into the woods, you walk out a different person. On this particular occasion, we walked out a different couple. With a new goal and a new mission.
The goal was simple, thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, 2,663 miles along a single trail, in a single hiking season. It took crossing paths with a single thru-hiker atop Dick’s Pass to merely mention his undertaking, and Melissa was ready and willing to start the trek the next. We had some logistical planning to do, but sure enough we departed the next year from the Mexican Border on April 19th, 2010 and reached the Canadian border on September 13th, 2010.
Here is where the mission was born. As we embarked on this challenge, we wanted our hike to be bigger than just us on a walk. We wanted to in some way have an impact. We wanted to share our story of being passionate educators and inspirations for change. We wanted to so simply start a movement that would spread like a ripple in a small pond when a child tosses a small stone in it. We wanted to share our love of the outdoors and share the outdoors love with others. And so we decided to raise money towards a cause we truly believe in while on our journey. This is how InspireOut came to be. Today, InspireOut stands for that same dream – we provide programs to aid both youth and adults in finding their inner strengths while appreciating the natural world we all share.