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Another Rocky to claim Victory February 10

Let’s watch Briana at Limontaur Beach LIVE to celebrate her completion of her American Discovery Trail Hike. February 10th, 2024 at 1 p.m. EST. Watch live at @rockygoeshiking.

By Emily Patrick 

As promised, here is Part II of my long-distance virtual interview with Briana Desanctis, who will soon be the first woman to ever solo-hike the 6,800-mile long American Discovery Trail. This formidable woman is making history and I feel so blessed to have been able to connect with her during this time in her life. These questions are a little more intimate but offer us a whole lot more insight. 

On January 28th, Briana posted on her Facebook LiveStream her first view of the Pacific Ocean, where her record-breaking journey will end. Though she doesn’t have an exact “end date” for her hike, we will update you when she does officially complete the trail. For now, please enjoy these little nuggets of wisdom from Briana and go follow her journey on social media!

What did you want to be growing up? What DO you want to be when you “grow up”?

As a child who went out to eat often, I had the gigantic aspirations of becoming a waitress when I grew up. This was a particularly great choice, because when I finally accomplished that goal and even smashed it by becoming a bartender and front-of-house manager, it turned out to be quite profitable. I’ve made more money bartending than working any other job.

When I grow up I want to be happy. That’s all.

 What are your other hobbies or interests aside from hiking and the outdoors?

Other than just about every outdoor activity, I enjoy playing guitar and ukelele. I also like to create art and I enjoy writing. Every once in a while I go on a video game playing binge, which is an excellent way to recover from a broken bone. Grand Theft Auto is very addicting.

Where did your trail name come from?

My mother gave me the trail name Rocky Mountain High even before I hiked the Appalachian Trail while I was living in Colorado. I decided to stick with it, but I’ve always wondered what my trail name would be if I was named on trail by other hikers. It’s probably best to stay with Rocky Mountain High.

 What would be your advice to young people (girls in particular) who have big goals & dreams but are afraid to pursue them, either because they seem out of reach, or they have been told their goals are unattainable?

I have been told countless times that I can’t do something because it’s too dangerous. Most people have no idea that saying these words to others, especially women who are impressionable, can completely hinder them from even taking that first step of achieving their goals. I receive emails almost daily from women who have dreamt of doing this or that but never did because someone told them not to for one reason or the other. If I actually listened to any of the fearmongering “advice” I’ve been dished, I would absolutely not be where I am today. You need to think first: who said this to you? Have they even done it? How would they know? They wouldn’t. The bottom line here is that if you have a dream or a goal or an idea, by all means, make it happen! If you need any guidance, surround yourself with people who will push you forward, not pull you back. I cannot stress this enough.

What have you learned about yourself throughout this journey? What have you learned about others?

I’ve learned that if I’m focused on my goals, I will achieve them. I’ve got even more perseverance than I knew. In life, we make ourselves much too comfortable, and that comfort casts a shadow on how tough we really can be. How do we come out strong if we aren’t being challenged?

People are extremely predictable, no matter where they are. I’ve met hundreds of people along the way. There is also a lot of kindness in the world that many do not get to see, and for this opportunity, I have been fortunate. You can’t rely on the news to shape your opinions; you have to experience it first-hand.

Is there a question no one has asked you yet about your experience that you think is important to share?

No one thinks to ask me how much roadkill I’ve seen. There were months where I was walking past more than 30 animal carcasses a day, a much larger tally than the wildlife. You name it: raccoons, possums, armadillos, cows, deer, turtles, birds, rabbits, I’ve passed them all.

You said in one interview that you didn’t have a home, that the trail was your home. What does “home” mean to you? 

After being on the trail for 2 years it becomes increasingly more difficult to say where home is. I am home wherever I go. My home has been a tent for a long time. I do not own a house or property, so when people say, “Where’s home for you?” I either tell them I’m homeless or that I AM home.  I quit my job and moved out of my last apartment in New Hampshire, so I’m not lying either way. It is typical societal nature for people to generally assume you have somewhere to “go back” to. I don’t want to go back; I want to keep moving forward.

After over 2 years and 6,800 miles of backpacking, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, through all four seasons, Join Brianna at Limontaur Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore to celebrate the completion of her American Discovery Trail hike. 

February 10, 2024 at 10am PST 38.02505, -122.88340 Watch live on Facebook at @rockygoeshiking.

If you want to congratulate this amazing woman you can send donations to:

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