My oldest son (Blake) is much more tech-savvy than myself and therefore I needed his help to set up this blog site.  He suggested that my first blog should be about my “dream” since I had referenced it in the name of this blog site.  That got me thinking about how I explain where my dream to hike the PCT came from.  After all, one person’s dream could be another person’s nightmare.  Donna and I have a lot of friends that are excited for our PCT adventure but very few that have any interest in hiking or backpacking for several days let alone several months or more.  I am sure that is a common experience for most if not all thru-hikers. But isn’t that how life is?  We all, for the most part, have different interests, different life experiences, different needs and wants, and different desires.  I think it’s fair to assume that it’s these differences between us that shape and influence many things including our “dreams”
There are several definitions of “dream” in the dictionary but the one that pertains to this blog’s title is: “a strongly desired goal or purpose”.  My wife and I have had a dream to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for several years.  Our dream to hike the PCT is really a strong desire or vision that has been created in our mind and exists in our imagination.  In my case, I am sure that this dream evolved from personal experiences including many years of hiking and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada,  two thru-hikes of the JMT, my love of the outdoors, my sense of adventure and the physical and mental challenge of such a large undertaking.  I’m also confident that the PCT blogs that I have read and followed over the past few years have also motivated me to attempt a thru-hike of the PCT – thank you Blazer, Andy and Laurie, Jenn and Colby (Jenn Hikes PCT)  and Owen Rojek (Time for a Hike).   For many years, however, my dream was not possible because of work and family responsibilities.  My dream only existed in my mind.
As our start date approaches (now less than one week), our dream to thru-hike the PCT is turning into reality.  And, for me, that reality is exciting but also a little scary.  The DREAM of thru-hiking the PCT has now turned into a GOAL of thru-hiking the PCT.  Dreams are imaginary and free and require no effort.  Goals have a cost – they require action and commitment.  Goals require focus and hard work.  Dreams can inspire you but achieving your goals can, not only change your life, but define your life.  So I think it’s great to have dreams but at some point you need to act on your dreams.  And if you’re going to dream then you might as well DREAM BIG.
I’ve read on many hikers blogs that there is a special community of hikers on the PCT.  Maybe that is because we all have a shared dream and we are acting to make those dreams come true.  Donna and I are looking forward to joining that community.

9 thoughts on “Dreams

  • Beautifully written! I am excited for you and Donna as you begin this journey. Very exciting! The PCT is quite a goal but I have NO doubt that you will achieve your goal. You have trained consistently and are well planned and organized. I wish you many blessings along the way. Be careful and safe. Slow down if you need to and speed up when you are ready. STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES ALONG THE WAY. Enjoy the friends you meet on the trail and I hope you meet some of those amazing trail angels along the way. Stay away from the bears, snakes, and bugs! I look forward to experiencing the trail via your blog! As you continue to plan your hike include Dan and I on your support team. We hope to get up to Oregon to help out…..a hot shower in our little trailer along with a steak on the BBQ and a cold beer will be available for you and Donna….just tell us where to meet you! I am proud of you both…Have FUN AND KICK ASS ON THE TRAIL! Love, Melissa and Family


    • Todd, I love that your tech savvy son helped you to create this blog! For almost 20 years now Steve and I have watch this dream unfold, and I can hardly believe it is here. Along the way, you have inspired your partner, his family, and friends to venture out, achieve the ultimate goal of a lighter load, and just enjoy a new way of being outdoors. Having grown up with nature loving parents, Steve was a natural fit to jump on to your bandwagon and learn all he could about packing, camping, etc. By the way, I am not going to thank you for installing the goal of less is more. We are forever plagued by the “lets see how little we can travel with mantra” even when we are traveling to Hawaii! I mean who cares when they didn’t charge for extra luggage! Anyway, thanks for creating that monster.

      Some of our most special memories are in Joshua Tree with you, Mt. Whitney goals, and our favorite hike you helped us with: Tuolumne Meadows. We are forever thankful for your guidance, inspiration, and kind heart. What an awesome role model for the kids. For all of our kids, to attempt something grand, plan, dream, and then most importantly, make it happen. We are most impressed with Donna, who continues to trek, despite all she has had to deal with physically. It takes a special person, and strength of character to persevere. She is like a mini dynamo. You are truly blessed to have this partner in life. We are excited to read your blog and enjoy the memories. We will be sending you lots of good energy thoughts and prayers to keep you safe along the way, Rose


  • This is going to be a classic trip…the first leg is going to be hot and I believe the the big test…hydrant often!!!


  • Dr. Miller, you continue to inspire me years after working with you! You were the ultimate role model in the field of dentistry and you continue to be even in retirement. You eloquently described what I hope my children can achieve in their lifetime – turning dreams into goals. Young kids today want immediate gratification and don’t realize that sometimes it takes YEARS to turn dreams into goals. It’s perseverance that makes it happen, which is what inspires me so much about you and Donna. Although I can honestly say that your journey is never a dream I would have had myself 😜, I’m excited to come along for the ride via this blog. Wishing you and Donna nothing but success as you begin this adventure!


  • They certainly do! Matt is a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Allie just got her drivers license. I miss the days when I was working with you. It seemed much simpler then! I can’t wait to follow along as you and Donna tackle this journey. I must say, retirement certainly agrees with you! Godspeed, dear friends…


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