CRYSTAL GAIL "THE GIVER" WELCOME
After a lengthy battle with a rare brain disease, Crystal came to recognize the healing power of Nature. So, with no backpacking experience, Crystal set out to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2016. She completed 600 miles of that journey. Crystal learned a lot about herself, her strengths, and she developed a love for Nature. Her time on the PCT instilled a desire to get more folks to discover the peace that Nature provides.
In 2018, Crystal returned to school and received a Master's in Interdisciplinary Studies in Adventure Education and Adventure Therapy from Prescott College. As a student, Crystal noticed a significant lack of BIPOC (Black, Ingenious, and People of Color) in the outdoors. As a Black woman, she wants to change this narrative. Crystal is a social justice and environmental activist. She believes the two are intrinsically linked. As a Black lesbian and a person living with a disability, she uses her intersecting identities and experiences to break down barriers so more people can access the outdoors.
It is likely no surprise that her trail name is "The Giver," which not only describes her contributions to others but also expresses her desire to give more than she takes. She received the name while hiking the PCT by offering to stay in town to mail packages for other hikers so that they could get an early start on their hike that morning.
Crystal is also an author, poet, and storyteller who has hiked and shared stories about her treks throughout the country. Her most memorable experience is sleeping underneath the windmills on the PCT. She found the lights rhythmical, soothing, and poetically aligned with the night sky.
In 2022, you can find Crystal undertaking part two of a three-part trek to complete the Great Western Loop with the hopes of inspiring more folks to venture outdoors. Unlike her predecessors, who completed the journey in a season, she has a neurological implant requiring off days to recharge her implant batteries.