Michelle's Amazing AdventureWho doesn't love an adventure? Follow our team member, Michelle, on this exciting chapter of her life!
Meet Michelle. Fun loving member of our Logan Square team. Adventurous. Thoughtful. Knows how to throw down. That fact probably helped to make her an awesome bartender. Team player. Did we mention adventurous? This girl has passion and we love it.
On July 4th, Michelle takes her trek back west to finish a journey she started a little over a year ago. In May 2016, Michelle set out to walk 2,650 miles through the desert, mountains, heat, cold, rain, and the unknown of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The 2,650 miles of the PCT run from Mexico to Canada, up through California, Oregon and Washington. Sadly, her journey came to a pause in September 2016.
On September 9, 2016, Michelle woke to an extremely swollen and painful foot, one that had been hindering her for days. Here's an excerpt from her blog:
"I had spent the night at Big Lake Youth Camp in Oregon. They provide a bed, showers, laundry, and meals to hikers all for a donation of your choosing. I asked one of the ladies that morning the best way to get to an urgent care. This very nice woman named Linda drove me over an hour to an urgent care in Bend and spent the whole day with me. I am so thankful for her and all the people who have helped me on this journey."
The woman who helped Michelle that day...a trail angel.
An X-Ray and MRI found that Michelle had a stress fracture in her right foot. Having only a few miles to reach the 2000 mile mark, she carefully limped step by step to reach that milestone and had no choice but to break and heal.
On July 4th, Michelle heads back west to pick up where she left off. We're excited to follow her adventure and invite you to join us. About the Trail Angel who drove Michelle an hour to seek medical care...from Michelle's blog:
"A Trail Angel is anyone who helps a hiker. It could simply be a short 4 mile ride into town from the trail, but that is four miles we didn’t have to walk after walking all day. They happily let us into their cars even though we are sweaty, dirty, and smelly, usually putting down a window to help with our stench. Giving a hiker watermelon, beer, a burger, soda, carrots any food or drink we didn’t have to carry and then pack out on our back (we call that trail magic). Driving 10 miles on an old dirt road every day to drop off jugs of water in the desert so hikers don’t have to go a 20 or more mile stretch without water."
You too can be a trail angel from afar. Click below to follow Michelle's journey. Want to further support this amazing adventure? Visit Michelle's Many Miles for MS gofundme page.
Michelle walks in support and honor of her friend, Hannah, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Shortly after her diagnosis, Hannah became very physically limited. Simple tasks, like getting dressed, became difficult. Hannah can no longer spend time in nature the way she used to. Hiking is Hannah's favorite activity. She hasn't been able to hike in over 2 years. Michelle hikes for Hannah. #multiplemilesforsclerosis
Our Pinot's Palette team is going to miss Michelle the next couple of months, but we'll be with her every step of the way in spirit and following her journey. Here's a little more about our girl Michelle, in her own words...
"I was born in Columbia, Maryland, but grew up in Pataskala, Ohio. It is a small town outside of Columbus. I grew up playing different sports and spending a lot of time outside. I wasn't board very often because I had my siblings to annoy. There were 6 of us kids, two boys and three girls. The unbrushed blonde haired child running around the house screaming was always me. When I was in middle school and high school, pole vaulting was my passion and life.
Once I got older, but never truly grew up, I went away to college, at The Ohio State University. The first day I stepped on campus I thought I couldn't become more of a buckeye fan. As I attended football games and many other sporting events my buckeye passion kept growing. After college, I moved to Colorado to work for a nonprofit doing environmental education. While in Colorado, my passion for snowboarding and bartending grew.
In the summer of 2016, I attempted to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail, something I've wanted to do since high school. Along the way I made many amazing friends. I also got to meet unbelievably kind trail angels (anyone who helps a hiker). I look back at the pictures almost every day because I miss trail life so much. I made it 2000 miles and then fractured my foot and couldn't finish. I have 650 miles left. While I was hiking I was raising money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis for my friend Hannah who was recently diagnosed with MS. #multiplemilesforsclerosis
After the trail I decided to move to Chicago to live with my older sister. Chicago has been an adjustment for me because I have never lived in a big city and had just spent 4 months on a trail in the wilderness. I am growing to love Chicago and all it has to offer. There are so many amazing places to eat and always fun things going on.
Working at Pinot's Palette has made the adjustment to city life easier. Its location in Logan Square is fun and vibrant, but not overwhelming. The kindness of the owners and artists makes me excited to go to work. The relaxed and fun environment I feel as soon as I enter through the doors, makes me instantly ready for slinging drinks. One of my highlights working at Pinot's Palette is making so many Manhattans. Manhattans are one of my favorite drinks to drink AND make!"
Michelle returns to Chicago in late August. Follow her adventure. Participate in the fun. Stop in this fall and share a Manhattan with Michelle and hear all about her adventure.
Good luck, Michelle!! We'll be with you every step of the way and have a Manhattan waiting for you when you return.