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Begins: Apr 26, 2009
Date: Sun, Jan 18th, 2009
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The Question a Girl Gets...
There are questions PCT hopefuls get when they start telling people they are hiking the PCT- all in one season. But, then, there are questions I feel that only the ladies get. I'll attempt to answer a few of them:
You're going ALONE! Won't you be scared? What about the bears, mt. lions, snakes, stalkers [insert dangerous wildlife]? What if you break your ankle, fall over and can't get up [insert catastrophe]? What about the "crazies" out there? I don't mean to minimize people's fears...people fear what they don't know. So I take these questions in stride. The conversation goes like this- Them: You're going ALONE!!??? ME: Yes, unless you want to go with me. THEM: [a wide-eyed look of terror as they try to assess if I'm serious]. And that's usually the end of that convo. As for the wildlife, I usually tell people that I HOPE to see bears, mt lions- but it's rare, which is too bad.......Now, in case you haven't figured it out--- I'm a girl, so I don't know if the guys get the look of SHOCK that I get when I say I'm going alone- but people wonder if I'll carry a gun or mace to ward off the two-legged animals- you know, "the most dangerous animal on Earth: Man" (and I don't think they mean "Man", as in Mankind, I think they mean: Men, as in "it's not the females who are serial killers").... To those people I say, "YES! If you are a stalker or serial killer or just a regular killer, I do plan on carrying a 9mm glock, a stun gun AND mace." So I should be plenty safe.
Hygiene. Will you shower, shave, wear make-up? What about "feminine products"? Oh the looks I get when I say (half-jokingly) that I hope to go the 4-5 months without a shower; that I don't plan on shaving my legs, underarms, and, gasp!, I'm not wearing ANY make-up. Oh, and horrors of horrors- I won't be bringing any deordorant with me!!!! (I know, take a moment to gag yourself with a spoon, I'll wait)...Also, I get a shot every 3 months called Depo-Provera, which negates any need for feminine products because I don't get my period. Let's just say "The Bachelorette" won't be calling me anytime soon. I have even gotten the question: How many pairs of underwear will you bring? Hmmm, how to put it delicately? Can we say "Commando." (I know, more info than you needed).
Did you hear about the hiking chick who underestimated her calorie needs and ended up trading sex for chocolate on the trail? (Seriously, this is no joke, Jen H. from Duluth told me she heard about this story)..... Hmmm, sex for chocolate? I didn't hear about this story before, and I'm not sure who gets the better deal in that trade. But, fear not, I will have plenty of chocolate with me on the trail...if I run into the male version of this girl on the trail I will be well prepared.
The regular questions: Where will you sleep, what will you eat, what if it rains? I will sleep on the trail, I will eat anything I get my hands on, and I will get wet when it rains. I really don't mean to be flippant. I know it boggles people's minds to imagine someone out hiking for 4-5 months. But I will get off the trail and hitchhike into town to eat and get more food. My diet will consist of anything in the store that says "just add water"- or anything with chocolate. I will also eat burgers/fries/malts/pizzas at any cafe that I come across while in town.
WHAT!?!? You're going to hitchhike? Yes, I'm going to hitchhike. I find that I have a pretty easy time catching a ride when I stick my thumb out- go figure.
SoloGirl's Guide To The PCT
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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