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Chaseat99 - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2009

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City: Axton
State: Virginia
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 9, 2009
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Jun 17th, 2009
Trip Distance: 662.3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,242
Journal Visits: 52,881
Guestbook Views: 8,891
Guestbook Entrys: 60

Gear list

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Journal Entry

Hi Gang,

of nutrition

Sorry that I have not written in a while. I turned off my internet at home before I left on this tri[p and have not turned it back on yet. I sitting at the boat dock parking lot in Dan daniels park. The city offers free wi fi here! I also just completed a 3.5 mile trail run on the SVMBA mountain bike trails. It feels very good to be back. Last time I ran here a good six months ago I had an injury and could harldy walk for a while. I was very happy that my plantar problem did not bother me at all on my 800 mile PCT hike. I am anxious to get my running back up to normal. This is only the third time that I have run since my hike. I did run around the neighborhood while in Reno. There was fast food available about three blocks away.

I am still down 11 pounds. I did not realize that I had lost this much and wonder what my low was. Since I have been off the trail for several weeks already I must have gained back some weight even before I weighed at home. I am starting to feel better and have reallly been getting an apetite. The last few weeks that i was hiking I was feeling run down. I was abel to walk 20 or more miles each day but i just did not feel as energetic as I thiought i should feel. My stomach felt quezzy most of the time although I was never sick from it. I wondered if I might have a bug of some sort that was preventing my proper absorbsion nutri. tion. the other day Linda and I ran 2.5 miles and i really felt exausted. Todays run i feel much better and not so tired afterwards. I think perhaps for what ever reason I became under nourished on the PCT

I am still not sure what the cause of my mal nutritions was. Perhaps a combination of things. I have done long hikes before and lost weight but I have never felt run down like this. One thing I will note is that I never got an apetite on the PCT. At the end of 800 miles I was eating about the same amounts as when I started. this is not so unususual for me since I am normally very active a backpacking trip is only a step up in effort but not a giant leap from the couch. Often it is several hundred miles before my

apetite begins to pick up. One factor is probably the heat of the desert. I love the southern appalacians in the winter time. Usually I do very little hiking when the temperatures climb above 70*.

Although it was hot in the desert. Mostly it ranged around 85* - 95* but due to the lack of humidity it certainly did not feel that hot. Also my choice of cloths for the desert could not have been better. Many folks on PCTL and ultra runners recomeded the Rail Riders shirt and pants. these were excelent choices with there sun protection and side ventilation system. Lets not forget my my Tilly Airflow hat. I only had to use sun block on the backs of my hands. My Golight Chrome Dome Umberella was also a great help. Instant shade, I walked cooler and drank less water walking in the shade of my umberella. All this gear I would use and highly recomend for a return trip to the desert. Starting early was very nice to and alowed the lower temperatures that I experienced. I always drank plenty of water, never had to ration or do without. Quite often I carried 5 liters of water. My ULA Catylist back pack carried the addtional weight very well.

There are many differences when you compare the AT and the PCT. On the PCT miles seem to come easier. I have heard many comparisions like the effort that carries you 15 miles on the AT will carry you 20 on the PCT for example. Most of the time that is not a bad comparison. For the most part I carried more weight on the PCT than I normally would on the At and I found it fairly easy to walk 20 to 30 miles. The PCT make gentel climbs most of the time. Sometimes walking in soft sand increases the effort. Long streetches between water sources and long streetches between resupply points adds to the hardship of the PCT. Please remember that while I have seen all of the AT multiple times I have only seen 800 miles of southern California on the PCT.ev

The desert is full of this finely ground black powdered dirt. It is as fine as baby powder and coats everything. Every evening my legs would be black from the knees down. My feet and toes are the worse. This all comes from this fine powder that is swirling about at ground level. You do not really see it so much. My tent was always coated with it inside and out. Several times I actually shut the screen door on my tent when it was windy. I almost never close the screen while cam;ping. Only when bugs are bad or in this case when its very windy and the black sand is blown about. This dirt also cloggs up your nose. Everyone experienced this. Most of the day you 9nose would run constantly trying to purge the sand. Other times it would clog up and it was quite common to see some blood when blowing your nose. I felt like this sand was clogging up my lungs too. On the other hand there were some very nice things about the desert. Threre were some great smells in the desert. No not other hikers haha there were some terrible smells there too and I often gagged myself with my personal body odor. Acres and acres of sage smelled real nice. The souviener shops sell a little bunch of sage for $ 6. while a short distance away there are bushes that would fill a bushel basket. Also another bush that i cannot recall the name of had a strong but not unpleasant smell. When a hiker would push by one of these bushes the burst of fragrance would linger on the trail when the desert air was calm. Although the hiker may have gone out of sight the lingering fragrance from the bush not the hiker, would reveal that someone had passd through recently.

Ok my back is bothering me sitting in this folding chair. I will wrtie more later. I appoligize to those folks that were following my journal. Sorry to let you down but it was my hike afterall and i did enjoy what I hiked. I just had mixed reason for not continueing. I expect the biggest contribution was from my health and not feeling top notch. MY back is hurting from that killer 17 hour flight schedule that I had coming home. Trying to sleep in airport chairs and airplance seats has still got some muscels knotted up.

Thanks to Karen for editing my journal and correcting my poor spelling and uploading pictures too. I am not going to take the time to read this before I post it. I hate this finger touch mouse pad thingy. My thumbs keep hittiing it and moving my cursor accross the screen. Time for a bike ride.

more later


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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:


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