|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – January 2014
It took 40 years, but our winner finally got her wish.
In the backcountry, there’s no pressure to “act your age.” Plunge into an ice-cold lake, lay barefoot on a soft carpet of grass, and stay up late playing card games. “It was incredibly freeing to escape the pressures of adulthood and unleash my inner child,” our winner Kelli Bullard says.
2. Live simply.
“Unplugging from phones, email, and the internet recharged my senses,” Bullard says. “For five whole days, my responsibilities were simple: put on a pack, walk, and immerse myself in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.”
3. Find it’s never too late to learn something new.
Bullard had long since put her hiking hobby on the back burner to focus on raising a family. But last summer, she discovered her interest never went totally cold. She read the memoir Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, who walked more than 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail without any backpacking experience. The story prompted Bullard to ask for our help to try backpacking for the first time—and the PCT. “I want to be an inspiration to other women of my generation,” she wrote in her entry. “The ones who are longing for something more and don’t know where to start.”
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