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Begins: Apr 14, 2010
Date: Thu, Nov 19th, 2009
Start: Gardiner MT
Entry Visits: 6,013
Journal Visits: 95,497
Guestbook Views: 6,485
Guestbook Entrys: 197
Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail has been a dream since I first heard of it in 1974. A distant dream most of the time, but I always thought: ''someday'. In March of 2010, I'll begin my 60th year. I'm at the point in life where when I ask myself: 'If not now, when?' and the answer is 'Never.', i know I'd better do it NOW. And so, my birthday gift for having survived so many years on this planet is the Pacific Crest Trail. And the best part is that I get to share it with Teresa.
Teresa and I have been friends for years. We've traveled, run, hiked and backpacked together. She has influenced me tremendously, especially in Yellowstone. While I'd been going through Yellowstone for years (since 1974), Teresa found the Yellowstone Association Institute and suggested we take a class. One course turned into three that summer, and I was hooked. Hooked on learning about Yellowstone, hooked on the Institute. At the time, we both taught in Grand Rapids, Michigan and would travel West every summer.
I have a MA in Outdoor/Environmental Education, graduated NOLS Wind River Mountaineering, am Master LNT (Leave No Trace), Level 1 PSIA (cross-country ski instructor), NAI certified interpretive guide, the list goes on. The Outdoors is my passion. I now teach/guide for the Yellowstone Association. I'm exactly where I want to be, doing what I love, and my office is 2.2 million acres of beauty. That is why my trail name is Yellowstone. What else could it be?
One day last year while I was going on about the PCT, I got a strange feeling from Teresa. We were hiking outside of Missoula, MT. I turned to her, said: 'Would you want to come?' She said: 'I thought you'd never ask!' That began the phone calls, the gear search (we are both known as 'Gear Goddesses' by our partners), and the strategies. We met a few weeks ago in Winthrop, where Teresa now lives, to do some serious planning.
I wore my pack on its first hike. I've gotten a Granite Gear Vapor Ki. It feels great. It may be a bit warm against my back, but I like how closely it fits my body, turning when I turn. We hiked through snow, trying out our Kahtoolas--sort of lightweight spikes that stretch over shoes. They were better than I'd expected. Absolutely no slippage. I wore one of the pairs of shoes I plan to use--Innov8 brand. Very light weight, but will probably wear out fast. I have a low top and a high top pair. I'll use a pair of Dirty Girl gaiters at least part of the time. I know they won't hold up long, but in the desert they'll work well to keep dirt/rocks out of the shoes. Later maybe I'll get another pair or a heavier pair of gaiters. Hate that word heavier, though.
Yellowstone On The PCT
Peace to all,
'There are some who can live without wildness, and some who cannot.' A Leopold
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