Explore Our
“Off The Wall” Blog

Unique, straight-forward, unfiltered opinion on topics of concern for individuals with newfound wealth.

The Time Is Upon Me

Hike the Pacific Crest Trail

As you may recall from a previous blog, I have been planning and training for a long-distance backpacking trip that is about to start. It’s something I’ve been researching for five years now.

It all started with hearing the stories of a 20-something-year-old who quit her job and hiked the whole Appalachian Trail straight through over the course of 6 months. Since I can’t (and don’t want to) quit my job, I started researching the idea of hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail over the course of several years until I completed it from the starting point to the ending point.

I figured that would take me 6 years of hiking 30 days per year.

The plan changed after an old Marine buddy convinced me that I should instead hike the Pacific Crest Trail in sections since the scenery was so much more diverse over the whole trail. I liked the sound of that.

So, I’m off. I will be hiking northbound over a combination of the Pacific Crest Trail proper and the section where the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail merge. This is generally referred to as the “Sierra” section and is only reasonable to attempt in the summer because of the snow. Traditional John Muir Trail hikers usually hike the trail in the opposite direction I’m heading and summit Mount Whitney, which I have decided to bypass.

I will fly into Mammoth Lakes, California and spend a few days acclimating at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Lodge since most of the hike is between 8,500 feet and 13,500 feet in elevation. I will then take a bus down to a town called Lone Pine where I will hitch hike up to the trailhead in an area called Horseshoe Meadows. Hitch hiking is very common in hiker towns – I’ll be fine. My goal is to end in Yosemite National Park (current forest fires depending – the Lions Fire is right on the trail).

I do not yet have an exact end date or even a return ticket – In fact I’m not even sure what town I’ll fly out of to return home. I’ll just figure it out, it’s all part of the adventure.

I’m expecting to be gone for the month of August.

I owe a lot of gratitude to the entire Monument Team who has not only agreed to afford me what is an unusual amount of consecutive time off, but encouraged me to pursue this mid-life adventure.

I WILL HAVE NO CELL SIGNAL ON THE TRAIL. There are 2-3 spots in resupply towns that I’ll be able to get signal, but I will otherwise be cut off from calls, texts, emails and the internet in general. The whole Monument Team is ready to help you out if you need anything. Please email any of them or call the office. My email Out of Office reply has all the details.

I will have a Garmin Iridium Satellite InReach GPS which will report my location on a satellite view, which looks a lot like Google Earth, every few hours depending on how the battery is holding up.  If you are interested in following me, this website will start to post my locations starting August 7th: https://share.garmin.com/DavidArmstrong 


Brittany will also be posting updates to Monument’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages throughout the month.

Wish me luck…I’ll have a lot of time to think of blog topics while I’m walking up and down mountains. I’m already feeling the “lots of small steps over time gets you where you want to be” metaphor.

Keep looking forward,



Important Disclosure Information

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Wealth Management), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. All indexes referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Monument Wealth Management. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Monument Wealth Management is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Monument Wealth Management’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

David B. photo

David B. Armstrong, CFA

President & Co-Founder

Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good....

Learn more ...

Stay up to date!

Subscribe to our “Off the Wall” Blog for articles and videos on all things wealth management, by all members of our Team. Unlike Facebook, we will never share your data with anyone.