Town: Wilson, Wyoming
Quote: “It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover.” – J.Poincare
About Hallie & Blair: Hello! We are sisters from New Hampshire. Our names are Blair & Hallie Southworth. We are 25 and 20 years old. We are passionate, we are energetic, and we laugh a lot. We love the smell of pine trees and living on sun and moon time.
We first dreamed of walking the Pacific Crest Trail on a hike behind our house in the woods of New Hampshire. We had limited funds, even less gear, but both of us were itching for an adventure and the big mountains of the West. The idea to do a thru-hike was born in 2014. Plane tickets were purchased, and then our circumstances changed.
Blair was graduating from Connecticut College and had the chance to teach English in Indonesia through the Fulbright program. Hallie, having recently graduated high school, decided to huck it to New Zealand on a one way ticket. We watched as the date for our plane ticket to San Diego and the Mexico border came and went. Plans to hike the PCT moved to the backburner, and the challenges of living in different countries and traveling alone took over our brains, hearts, focus and energy.
Along this left turning journey, we have remained each other’s advocates and support system. We are five and a half years apart, with an incredible sister in between us, and have found in the 20 something years of spinning around the sun that life quite simply, is more fun when we are together.
We are similar, we are different, and we are nearly 8 inches apart in height. Hallie is known for being on time, and Blair lives on a more ‘pokey’ pace. We grew up playing soccer, cross country skiing, and scooting around the New Hampshire woods.
Our life paths have been very different, but we find our differing opinions and perspectives make for a stronger team. At the end of most days, our love for each other always makes it possible to laugh more, look for the beauty in sunsets and the good in people.
After spending a year overseas, both of us found ourselves with a chunk of time and yearning for mountains and lakes and big skies. Suddenly, it became apparent that the time was now and we wanted to make hiking the PCT happen. We applied for permits, and May 3rd, 2016 became our kick-off date. We spent a season working in the North East. Hallie lived and worked at Sugarloaf Mountain snowboarding heaps, and Blair saved money serving at a restaurant in Brunswick, Maine.
The PCT changed our lives. We showed up in the desert with hats that sported six inch brims, limited planning, and a hope that we would learn and adjust quickly. We fell in love with the pace of constant movement, the quirky new people we met every single day, and our Big Agnes tent which became our home. The challenges that the trail posed showed us how deep our resilience runs, and that determination can be broken into the smallest increments. One step at a time.
Some of our favorite times on trail were summiting Mount Whitney, wandering through glacier carved half pipes of the Northern Cascades, and eating our lips and teeth blue with huckleberries and blueberries. We were on the receiving end of so much kindness and generosity from random strangers. There were also times when we were scared, tired, hungry, and trodden down. But to us, waking up every morning in a different place, finding ourselves feeling small amongst giant boulders and Oregon’s skyscraper sized trees brought an incredible sense of balance and belonging. We felt empowered as adventurers, doers, and determined women. This journey has given us self-confidence, self-love, and a desire to pass on some of the generosity that has been shown to us.
On our flight home after finishing the PCT, somewhere high above Minnesota, we looked at each other and wondered about another thru-hike. One of our trail friends planted the idea of calendar year Triple Crowning. A ‘triple crowner’ is a hiker who walks all three major U.S. long-distance hiking trails. Together, the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail are more than 7,900 miles of rugged terrain. More walking, more sunrises, and more adventure.
To date, five people have completed the calendar year Triple Crown. We are dreaming, scheming, planning and training to become the first sisters and first women to pull off such a feat.
We believe our grit, determination and resourcefulness as a team will help us pioneer the world of long-distance thru-hiking. We stand with female-athletes everywhere who are following their dreams and breaking into uncharted territory.
SheJumps is so exciting to us because of its incredible mission to get women and girls of every age outside. To our core we believe the outside world provides an environment that enriches the mind, challenges the body and soothes the soul.
If we could have a message to girls everywhere (as sappy as this sounds) it’s that you can do it. You can walk it. You can climb it. It takes putting one foot in front of another and digging deep when the future is uncertain.
We are stoked to be a part of the SheJumps community and are inspired by the many stories of cool ladies doing what they love.