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AOC - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2017

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Journalist
City: Ann Arbor
State: Michigan
Country: United States
Begins: Apr 30, 2017
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Apr 20th, 2017
Start: Ann Arbor Michigan

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 423
Journal Visits: 575
Guestbook Views: 4
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Pacific Crest Trail Map

The Motive, Decision, and Podiatric Reckoning

In November I started thinking of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail as a reality. At first it was just a thought, a simple what-if to ponder over in my mind to distract myself from the brutality of the cold cloudy days that consumed the horizon throughout Michigan winter. I thought back to the John Muir when the days were filled with mountain landscapes gleaming with life, glaciers melting into quiescent lakes, and of course the warm sunshine which melted away the complications of life.

Figuring out the feasibility and the logistics required for a successful thruhike started occupying my free time as I became more entrenched in the idea. In the back of my mind, I really just wanted to get back on the trail. Checking the prices of airline tickets became a daily occurrence as my mind wandered in class, Tuesday around 10am seemed to be best time to purchase. Gearlists and reviews posted by past thruhikers became leisure reading before falling asleep at night. My involvement on ultralight backpacking & hammock forums picked up as I refined my setup to my specific requirements. I eventually found myself answering questions posed by others passing on my knowledge gained from research and past experiences. It feels good to help out those who were in the same position I was not so long ago. Over the course of a few months I essentially prepared myself for a thruhike without actually having any commitment to start. My own interest in the prospect of thruhiking covertly sabotaged my efforts to pursue the logical next step in my educational / employable track. If I was to pursue a highly competitive internship I needed to start now. I decided I would assess the individual prospects, thruhiking and pursuing an internship, based on two analyses, a logic based pro vs con exercise as well as a emotion based "Why I want to _____" exercise. In the end logic dictated that if such excursion was going to happen, now was the time, while the latter provided a powerful framework for the newly settled commitment and should continue to serve as an excellent foundation during rough times along the trail.

Before starting at the southern terminus I will have roughly two months of backcountry experience under my belt. Nothing compares to the magnitude that is the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail. I am extremely excited to find out how this whole attempt fares out. A quick note: I am walking onto the trail with plantar fascitis as well as a relatively recently sprained ankle. My rehabilitation efforts have been constant since the onset of these injuries but there is a high likelyhood that I will be taken off trail, perhaps even shortly after getting on. I am not ignorant to this reality and will making my best attempt at limiting myself and properly strengthening my body to make it as far as possible. Dr. Tobias Hip, Knee, and Joint supplement containing MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin as well as Fish Oil, Vitamin D, and Zinc are common staples in my daily diet. Strengthening exercises, stretching, and deep tissue rolling are frequent activities throughout the day. All of these efforts seem to be substantially helping. Hopefully, my tendons are fully repaired and ready to go within the next week. Only one more week before I leave, 3 more finals and 2 more papers... I'm ready to get out of here.

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Pacific Crest Trail - 2017

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org

 

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