April “Bearclaw” Sylva
UPDATE: April successfully completed her thru-hike in September, 2014 and also successfully met her fundraising goal for the PCTA. She also married one of our program mentors on trail! Congratulations to Bearclaw and Dirtmonger! We see many more adventures in your future.
Follow me: www.staywildandtrue.com
Born and raised in Oklahoma, I am deeply rooted in this great state, yet have travelled immensely always seeking adventure in the outdoors from camping, skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting, mountain biking, mountain top yoga and hiking. My life has always been somewhat an adventure. I’ve always chosen the road less traveled, and firmly believe that our life unfolds in direct proportion to our courage.
In fall 2012, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma cancer, a less common of skin cancers but the deadliest. After the shock, and surgery to remove the tumor, I took an introspective look at my life, and knew that I had to “live” and “give” back more than ever before. During my recovery from surgery, I picked up the book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” a memoir by American author, Cheryl Strayed. This is one of my most treasured books, and I felt as if I was reading my own story, all except I had not heard of nor hiked the PCT. I was immediately drawn, and found solace in the pain, freedom, and adventure through the words of a woman I had never met yet, the memoir she had written was a biography of me.
For the past year and a half, the PCT has haunted me. I have dreamt of the hike, yet I have no true backcountry experience or true backpacking experience, nor have I done anything this challenging or adventurous. The law of attraction with the PCT has been profound, and I am ready to embark on this great journey into the unknown, live life on the trail, and in the great WILD.
Why the PCTA is important:
The Pacific Crest Trail Association is the only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to protecting the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT is so much more than a “trail” it is sacred and home to some of the most wild and scenic landscapes in the world. The PCTA helps build a strong land protection program, and they organize and train thousands of volunteers to help maintain the trail. Please help me give back to this National Scenic Trail, and preserve this trail for generations to come.”
Why I’m participating with mYAMAdventure
mYAMAdventure is providing an incredible opportunity that I could not pass up! Not only do they offer the mentorship of previous thru-hikers, but we are also giving back to the trail through fundraising for the PCTA – How cool is that?!? I’m thrilled, and couldn’t be more honored!