Olivia Barragan Velasquez

What date are you planning to begin your thru-hike?

May 11, 2019

Are you planning to hike northbound, southbound, or complete a flip flop?


What is your motivation for wanting to complete the hike?

I hiked the trail from Georgia to Vermont in '17 then Vermont to Maine in '18. I aspire to finish the entire trail in six to eight months, straight through. I am determined.

How do you expect this hike will change your life?

This hike has already impacted my life. After the hike, I decided to go back to school specifically because I desire to live a life outdoors. It taught me about determination, persistence, and patience. This will be my first time hiking long distance completely alone and I'm absolutely 100% thrilled for the opportunity to feel the adventure and experience again!

Describe your backpacking experience. How long have you been doing it? What's the longest trip you've done?

I have only been backpacking for 3 years. I started in Washington, then I did the Appalachian Trail which is also the longest trip I've done. I've done a few small hikes on the River To River trail in Southern Illinois but that's about it!

What else should we know about you?

I'm from Washington State, but I'm currently attending Southern Illinois University. I'm majoring in Outdoor Recreation. This is my first year back in college after about 5 years in the workforce. I was raised in the small town of Forks in the middle of the most beautiful area in Washington. Except, I didn't realize it until I started hiking 3 years ago! All I wanted to do was get out of that small town, so after graduation I moved to Seattle, then Olympia, then the AT, then to Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, then the trail again, and now I'm in Carbondale!