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News > News from the Worthian Network > Walking from Mexico to Canada

Walking from Mexico to Canada

James Thompson C'15 recently completed the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail

Post lockdown, James Thompson C’15 decided he wanted to travel, get back to basics and live in the wilds for a bit, so he spent 4 and a half months walking 2,650 continuous miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail.

After leaving Worth, James studied Geography at Liverpool University and went on to become a Chartered Accountant in Chichester. But his recent adventure found him hiking through deserts, mountain ranges, forests, vast meadows, burn zones, fording through river crossings, dodging wild fires, cowboy camping under the stars, and sheltering from lightning storms.

As James reports, “I set out from the US-Mexican border on 29th April with only essentials in my ultra-light-weight backpack (less than 8kg of gear by the end). The trail takes you through small settlements every few hundred miles, meaning it can be up to 9 days before the next resupply.”

The trail enables walkers to experience some of the more remote wilderness the US has to offer and James was lucky enough to encounter a variety of wildfire including black bears, mountain lions, and bald eagles. He recalls “Every section of the trail was beautiful and challenging in its own way, with the highlight always being the local ‘Trail Angels’ giving out support, and most importantly, cold beer to hikers. I became part of a great thru-hiking community, consisting of people from all walks of life, each looking after one another, something that reminded me of Worth’s ethos. I can confidently say I made friends for life"

Recalling the end of his epic journey, he said "Walking 25 miles every day takes its toll on the body, but it is well worth the feeling of elation once you see the monument at the Canadian border which you have been dreaming about since mile 1“.

James took part in The Channel Swim whilst at Worth which he says was a big influence in inspiring him to undertake big challenges and to realise they are actually achievable. His DofE Gold also helped nurture his enjoyment of the outdoors. Now back working in London - a "big shock’" after 6 months in the wilderness - he’s already dreaming of his next adventure… perhaps thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail or the Te Araroa in New Zealand... Watch this space!

 

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