Q & A With Thru Hike Syndicate Ambassador Grizel Williams
Now entering its fifth season, the Thru-Hike Syndicate is a brand partner-powered program supporting a select and diverse group of thru-hikers attempting to complete some of the most iconic long trails throughout the United States. The Thru-Hike Syndicate is supported by JAM Clients Vasque, Osprey Packs & Otterbox — as well as NEMO Equipment, Leki Trekking Poles, and Darn Tough Vermont. We’re proud to highlight 2018 THS Ambassador Grizel Williams who is thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year.
My name is Grizel Williams and I am thru-hiking the PCT. When I was a little girl, I never saw myself as strong or confident. Thankfully, I found that the woods were where I found peace and understanding, fueling my love for hiking, backpacking, and most importantly, myself.
What is your favorite thing about being outdoors?
Being outside brings me so much life. The beauty, simplicity, complexity, and resiliency of the outdoors is one of life’s greatest miracles. There is so much to be learned and gained from Mother Nature.
Over the years I learned that backpacking was one of the few places that I feel I am my truest self - an independent, strong, Latina woman. So, PCT 2018. Let’s do it.
What initially drew you to thru-hiking?
When I was in 6th grade, I read a book about a man that thru-hiked the AT. Learning about his struggles and journey - I wanted to be that brave and strong one day.
What are you most looking forward to on your upcoming PCT thru-hike?
I am looking forward to the journey as a whole. I don’t have expectations of what I am going to learn through this experience, but I am open to be changed and moved by the trail.
Although I have hiked many parts of the AT in my life, I fell in love with the West Coast after traveling there many times over the last few years. I have heard of the difficult terrain the PCT holds, and I find it alluring and terrifyingly beautiful.
Music is something that you’re passionate about - how long have you been creating music?
Tough question, because I don’t remember not creating music! I grew up playing classical violin and still play to this day. I began writing and singing in high school, which is a huge reason why I moved to Nashville in the first place!
Who in your life inspires you most and why?
My grandfather inspires me more than anyone I have ever met! He taught me the importance of minimalism, and living a simple and very happy life. He was the original nomad. The OG of Nomads, if you will.
What is your absolute favorite food?
Homemade popcorn with a very specific cheddar seasoning. I literally eat it every day and it truly saddens me that I will not partake in its perfection when I am on the trail.
Follow Grizel on Instagram to get the latest updates on her PCT journey!