My Plans to Hike the Pacific Crest Trail This Year

I’m Elina, and this is where I plan to share stories and photos of my latest adventures. But before I do that, I wanted to begin with a disclaimer. Yes, I now have a travel blog. No, that does not mean that I am vain, that I feel like my accomplishments are more significant than yours, or that I want to be famous for anything I’ve done. I just want a place where I can share stories, show photos, and give my friends and family updates on what I’ve been up to lately. Okay, now we can move past that and discuss where I’ll be going next–I’m nearly bursting from excitement!

This past year, I have done a good amount of road-tripping, flying, backpacking, etc., but none of that matters much in comparison to what I’m doing next. In a week, I leave on a journey that I know will be the most epic, life-altering, insane thing I’d done thus far.

I’m going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Now, again, this doesn’t make me spectacular, fearless, or better than anyone else. Hundreds of people attempt to hike the PCT each year and half of them succeed. Many men and women have gone before me. This isn’t new. I didn’t come up with the idea. But I am so glad someone else did and paved the way for so many restless, wandering souls like me.

I’m extremely excited about it and can’t stop talking about it (after all, this is going to be my life for the next half a year!), and am flattered that so many of you would like to follow along my journey and have urged me to start a blog.

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with the concept, the PCT is a 2,650 mile-long trail that goes from the border of Mexico and California to the border of Canada and Washington. Some people travel southbound, but most opt to go northbound. I chose the latter, as I live in Southern California and it’s more convenient for me to begin here. It takes about 5 months to complete, a person who completes the trail is called a thru-hiker, hikers call each other by trail names (a nickname that someone else has dubbed you which is somehow related to who you are, where you’re from, or how you hike), it is expensive and exhausting, it’s difficult to explain why anyone ever feels the need to do this, but, hello, I am Elina, also known as Mermaid on the trail (I’ve chosen to keep my trail name from last year when I section-hiked for a month), and I am an aspiring Class of 2016 PCT thru-hiker.


Thanks for joining me from afar!

About elinatravels

I’m Elina Oliferovskiy, a Russian-born 26-year-old restless soul who’s never really found a place to dig her roots in deep ever since I moved to the United States in 1998. I’ve lived in a 39-foot RV with 8 people and a Chihuahua and road-tripped around approximately 38 states for 1.5 months. I’ve packed my car and headed north without a destination and ended up in Big Sur, CA and lived there for a bit. I recently moved to Bend, OR without ever having been here prior (simply went off of the recommendations of others). And I just came back from a trip to France, Luxembourg, England, and Ireland and have many fun stories to share. My alter-ego is Free Spirit (my trail name on the PCT) and I am an aspiring solo female Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, who’d hiked half of the trail in 3.5 months in 2016 and a did a one-month section hike in 2014. I started this blog to chronicle my attempt to get from Mexico to Canada on foot via the PCT. I have also hiked in England, Luxembourg, and hope to hike the Camino De Santiago (St. James’ Way) in Spain and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, as well as many others. I love challenging myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, exploring and meeting new people who introduce me to their perspectives on life and allow me to be part of what they hold dearest to their hearts, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in order to try exciting new things, and seeing, tasting, smelling, experiencing all of what this wonderful world I live in has to offer. This is why I travel. This is also why I move frequently. I’ve been moving somewhere new nearly every year, and I absolutely love my lifestyle. Now, I am deciding between teaching English in Vietnam, working remotely from New Zealand, or moving back to CA and woodcarving for a season. We will see what happens in the fall/winter of 2017. For now, I plan to stay in Bend, OR another few months and absorb all I can from this wonderful little (though rapidly growing) town. Feel free to follow along my journey by reading and commenting on my blog, adding me on Facebook (search for Elina Oliferovskiy and write me a message telling me you are a follower of my blog), or emailing me at
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14 Responses to My Plans to Hike the Pacific Crest Trail This Year

  1. travelena1 says:

    Heloooo:) I don’t really know you, but we met on backpacking page on FB, and I’ve been somehow following your adventures on there:) this is a big and awesome decision! Can’t wait to read more! I might do a lil AT over here on the east coast, cheers from the trail!


    • elinatravels says:

      Thank you! It is big, and I’m so scared and excited all at once! I know it’s going to be amazing though. Thank you for following my journey!
      I really hope you get to hike a portion of the AT this year! You could’ve run into Vanilla, who works at a couple hostels along the AT, but I’m kidnapping him so that he can hike the desert section of the PCT with me. 🙂


  2. Cathy Mayhew says:

    All the best to you! I’m going to try to follow your blog. Maybe I will do part of it close to Canada. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. girlonahike says:

    Awesome! Good Luck! From all the videos and photos I’ve seen it’s going to be an experience of a lifetime! -Alicia @

    Liked by 1 person

    • elinatravels says:

      Oh, I know it will be! I hiked parts of CA sections L through O last year and absolutely loved it.. I already got a little glimpse of what it’s going to be like already 🙂


  4. Leigh says:

    Looking forward to following your journey. I did section J last summer and would so love to do the whole trail. I will live vicariously through you for now😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Jurasius says:

    I may see you out there this year, but I will not tentatively start my hike until sometime in July depending on snow in the Cascades. I will of course be hiking south bound. Plan to be at Mex border by November. Have a great journey! It will change your life in amazing ways!
    Mike Continental Drifter Jurasius

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael Jurasius says:

    Hello Elina! I may intersect you on the PCT this year. I plan to start in July sometime, depending on snow reports in the Cascades. I typically move a lightning pace covering big miles/day so should finishish by early Nov at the MEX border. We’ll just have to see what the conditions bring. You be safe and soak it all in. The desert is one of my favorite places. The sierras will be a treat. Hopefully you wont struggle too much navigating through the heavier than normal snow this year!
    I need to get home from Australia first!
    See you out there
    Mike Continental Drifter Jurasius

    Liked by 1 person

    • elinatravels says:

      I hope the snow won’t be too bad by the time I get there. That would put a slight damper on things…but I can always go back and finish the parts I had to skip (if I have to skip any), so it’s not a really big deal. I hope you have an amazing time out there! Enjoy your travels.


  7. David Odell says:

    Good luck on your PCT hike. I will be looking forward to following your journal. David Odell AT71 PCT72 CDT77

    Liked by 1 person

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