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Begins: May 1, 2009
Date: Mon, Feb 16th, 2009
Entry Visits: 914
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Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Completing the JMT
As cliche as it is I must admit that after watching the movie Into the Wild in 2007 I decided I needed an adventure...
I wanted to do something on a grand scale, I wanted to do something that was so outrageous that when I told people what I was doing they would look quizzically at me and ask why??. Over a two years ago I began researching, trying to find the perfect trip. I needed to find something that was epic and still feasible. I decided early on I wanted my dollar to be worth a dollar and ruled out going back to Europe. Plus, every college graduate hops the lake and goes to Paris.
I knew I wanted to be either hiking or cycling but I couldn't find something that resonated with me. Finally one night I stumbled upon a video documentary called Walking the West.
I watched the video twice and jokingly told my Dad I planned to hike the PCT. A 2,600 mile trail that stretched from Mexico to Canada. I could hear the thought rattling around in his brain and I made him watch the documentary. As the credits rolled he turned to me and said I wish I could go with you.
For the past year I have been dissecting old trail journals, re-reading the YOGI book, pouring over the PCT-L forum and pre-ordering the PCT-ATLAS. I have spend hundreds of hours researching packs, tarps, shoes, stoves and a million other items. All of it resulting in an intelligent, ultra-light base weight.(base weight is everything I will carry minus the variable weight of food and water) I have a tendency to jump in with both feet when I find something that truly excites me.
This last summer I decided to put my research and body to the test. I hiked the 218 mile John Muir Trail in 10 days. Those ten days were absolutely the most difficult, exhausting and wonderful days of my life. Each day posed a different problem and each day was more spectacular than the last. I spent 7 of the ten days hiking solo and in that week I learned how exciting and difficult it is to rely solely on yourself to stay disciplined and complete the miles and the hike. When I finished on top of Mount Whitney the feeling was indescribable. http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=8061 (JMT TRAILJOURNAL)
Nearly two year after the first spark of adventure started my search I am only a couple of short months away from starting my epic hike. For now I have to keep focus on school and my studies. I have only four weeks left and it will truly be bittersweet when it all comes to an end. But I can't think of a better way to celebrate graduation then hiking 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