Not too many of us can say we've hiked 5,000 miles - most of us don't even do that in our lifetime. But Elisabeth Perry of Summit County covered that distance in 16 months. The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650-mile trek that runs from Mexico to California, Oregon, Washington and into Canada. Elisabeth took on this quest in 2011, and with only 300 miles to go, snowfall prevented her completion. So she did it all over again in 2012 and was able to complete the journey, which brought her total hiking distance to 5,000 miles. Talk about perseverance!
On Monday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m., she is going to be at Eagle Public Library to share this experience with a slide show presentation accompanied by music.
The hike is a story in itself, but it gets better when we hear about why she decided to make this foot trip. Elisabeth set out on this journey in order to bring awareness to CASA of the Continental Divide. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
CASA's mission is to advocate in court for the best interests of abused or neglected children, and to find safe, permanent homes for them as soon as possible. CASA is a national organization with a local branch serving Colorado's 5th Judicial District - which includes Eagle, Lake, Summit and Clear Creek counties. CASA trains volunteer advocates with comprehensive training about the judicial system and available resources for affected families.
Elisabeth has experience as an intern and a volunteer with CASA.
"It was a trip that changed my life and sparked a new love for me," she said.
She decided to make the trip an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for CASA.
"I think Elisabeth is a very courageous young woman," said CASA Program Director Kathy Reed. "I am proud of her for taking on this challenging hike for our program."
Elisabeth said the most rewarding parts of the journey were the moments of true and complete bliss and peace she experienced on the trail.
"There is so much amazing natural beauty out there, so much magic. These moments make all the hard times worth it. Being able to live outside and spend each day among such beauty is humbling and rewarding on so many levels, it's hard to explain. And, of course, getting to Canada, the end, was one of the most overwhelming moments in my life."
Come and learn about CASA and the experience of going into the wilderness of the Pacific Crest Trail. After Elisabeth presents a PowerPoint slide show of her hike, she will be available for questions and answers. This is a free program for the public, so mark your calendars for an informative evening about this young woman's incredible journey!