|Opening slide on the big screen.|
I wanted to give everyone an update on how the much anticipated presentation went. I was blown away by the crowd that was there and how supportive everyone was. It was the largest attendance the Mazamas ever had for a presentation and they stopped counting after 250 people arrived! All seats were taken, many people sat on the floor in front and lined the walls in back. There were even people I saw standing in the hallway to the entrance who stayed. It was just amazing to get such a turnout!
|Picture of the crowd as people gathered.|
This was my first time presenting anything of this caliber, so I learned a lot about timing and organization that will definitely improve with practice. The presentation was longer than I had hoped (1hr 40mins), but I wanted to go for quality and I wanted everyone to really feel what it was like on all aspects of the trail, not just scenically. I wanted them to understand the community the hikers have together and the support we have from amazing trail angels. I feel like I accomplished that. It was great to hear the crowd’s reactions of gasps, laughs, oohs, and aahs. I felt like they were
really taking the journey with me again. One of the highlights was showing everyone this montage I put together of the footage I had (mostly from Thumper) from when I was with the group that tackled the high fords and snow after Tuolumne Meadows. I love this video! Feel free to share it if you like.
I have gotten amazing feedback
and it feels so great to share this trail experience with others. I was most humbled to hear the affect my journal seems to have had on those who followed daily this summer as I hiked. To hear that people have decided to hike the PCT after reading my journal really means a lot to me because I was also inspired by others who journaled the year before me. I had many people approach me to let me know how much the journal meant to them this year. Some experienced such unimaginable loss and hardships. They told me that waking up to read my adventures gave them something to look forward to each day and it could take them away from their struggles for awhile. I am humbled, and oh so grateful, to be such a positive element in people’s lives. It was inspirational emails from people like that, that really helped me when I was having rough time on the trail. Thank you for sharing your lives with me and allowing me to be part of yours.
|I had a great time:)|
|So strange to see myself on the big screen!|
My biggest regret is that, due to the length, I wasn’t able to open
up for questions at the end…which was kinda intentional because that felt more self
centered to me than presenting the trail and I didn’t feel comfortable
making it about me. I’m not a professional, and don’t feel comfortable
advising so much as just sharing my experience (if that makes sense). I
noticed that the majority of the crowd was not planning to hike the
whole PCT, so I geared my presentation more toward the experience rather
than preparation or gear talk. I did talk to many people personally
afterward, but I know there were many others with questions who couldn’t stay.
I do want people to know that they are welcome to contact me through this journal if they have questions.