From PCT to LMT – Adventure on Pacific Crest Trail leads to new business in Silverton

March 2022 Posted in Business, Community, People, Your Health

By Melissa Wagoner

When 21-year-old Anna Koch set off to finish hiking the second half of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2020 – a journey that began the year before when she hiked 1,800 miles of the 2,650-mile trail stretching between the Canadian and Mexican borders – she expected to find adventure. What she didn’t expect to find was love – and a new career.

Anna Koch

Tyler Patterson

“We met right at the halfway point,” Koch said. Describing the moment she met her future partner, Tyler Patterson, at a resupply spot known as “trail magic” where – in her words – “more than trail magic happened.” 

“[We] hiked on from there knowing [we] were meant to be without having spoken a word of it,” the couple wrote. 

But what they were less certain about was what they wanted to do after the hike was over. 

Koch had been attending nursing school in Bend, but she had begun having second thoughts about reinstating her studies post-trail.

Patterson, who had left his home state of Louisiana to get away from the stress of COVID and to explore his desire to live in the Pacific Northwest, wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when the hike was done. Then, after experiencing shin-splints, he experienced the health benefits of massage.

“I was in the middle of massaging Tyler and he said, ‘I think we should be massage therapists,’” Koch recalled. Admitting that she was initially wary of the idea, something about it was also appealing. 

“Massage saved me from a lot when I had a wrestling injury,” she said. That experience – as well as the daily foot massages she had become reliant upon during her two long hikes – had taught her the necessity of frequent massage care. 

And so, with a new, mutual goal in mind and their time on the trail behind them, Koch and Patterson enrolled in a seven-month, intensive program at the Sage School of Massage and Aesthetics in Bend. 

“They went above and beyond,” Koch said of the school’s top-notch training program. “Every professor loves their job and passes that on.”

Receiving training in the “holistic spirit of healing,” including rigor therapy – a deep tissue massage that claims to help return frozen muscle fiber to a resting state – the couple became equipped to help clients treat ailments like tennis and golfer’s elbow, frozen shoulder and chronic headaches. But they are quick to note that even those not currently suffering from acute pain can benefit. 

“Every body deserves a massage,” Koch said. “Massage helps the immune system. It lowers stress and improves your general sense of wellbeing.”

Located on the south side of the Zebra Print building in downtown Silverton, Grand Rising Wellness opened its doors on Jan. 7 to appointments seven days a week, including nights and weekends. 

“We have a really nice space here,” Patterson said, referring to the expansive room, which has been designed to provide massage and a small number of locally sourced, sustainably made, personal care products. 

“We want to aid people in achieving what their highest level of wellness looks like,” Koch said. 

To which Patterson added, “And who doesn’t like a massage?” 

Grand Rising Wellness

Licensed massage therapy and bodywork

417 N. Water St., Silverton


[email protected]

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