It’s only two months until I step out of my office or the last time, get on the tube and, a few days later, fly to LA to set things in motion for my thru hike. I’ve nearly finished collecting my gear together, I’m stronger physically than I’ve been, but something has happened since I started planning this thing which I couldn’t have prepared for – a Trump presidency. After the election results I questioned whether or not I wanted to go ahead with my thru hiker at all. Not that the political situation her is much better – it’s going to be equally difficult to leave my activism in London, and I feel a lot of guilt for planning a six month absence from the projects I’ve been involved in here. Nonetheless, I quickly came to the conclusion that I’m not going to let The Orange One stop me. All along this hike has been about taking some of the power back which has been taken from me, but I do feel less safe, as a solo woman hiking in a country where the president tells men it’s okay to assault women.
My major concerns for a Trump presidential term are his rampant racism, particularly his attitudes towards migrants (I’m sure I don’t need to explain why) and his completed disregard for the environment. I also have questions like what should I do if I come across a Trump voter on the trail? Impale them with my hiking pole? Try and reason with them? Chuck Mckeever wrote an article for The Trek a last month about this, it’s called Thru-hiking in the age of Trump and you should read it. He talks about white privilege and how hikers can challenge racism and far right views on the trail. It’s refreshing to see people in the thru-hiking community talking about this, it’s about time we did. The comment section is pretty horrendous though. You can also find more on this subject from previous PCT thru hiker Carrot Quinn’s blog.
Yesterday as I marched against deportations in my local community I could feel hope, maybe not much, but some, and it’s worth fighting for. It’s cliched but I want to give something back with my hike. It was always something I wanted to do for myself, and it still is, but in light of recent political events I’ve started to think more about fundraising whilst I hike. A few wealthy-ish associates here have asked me how they can donate, assuming I’d be fundraising. It seems like a good opportunity to make some cold hold cash for places where it’s needed most. I need to sort out the specifics but I’m hoping to fundraise for an environmental charity, probably one with a relationship to Standing Rock and indigenous environmental rights, I’ll also give a proceed to the PCTA. I’ll give more details when I know more.