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Jack and Barb
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Date: Fri, Aug 26th, 2011
Start: mile 1950
End: mile 1980
Daily Distance: 30
Trip Distance: 1,966.7
Entry Visits: 1,111
Journal Visits: 387,737
Guestbook Views: 167,248
Guestbook Entrys: 482
Celebrities on the trail
Is this celebrity week or what? Yesterday, Scott Williamson, today Billy Goat.
I missed my biological alarm this morning and got a late start, 6:45. It was to be a tough day, covering miles 1950 to 1980 with 4,400 vertical climbing feet.
Early in the morning I came across Billy Goat, sitting by the trail, eating some type of chocolate breakfast drink / cereal. I heard he was in the area and recognized him immediately. Billy Goat, I believe, holds the record for being the oldest person to thru hike the PCT. He did this when he was 69. He is 72 now and tells me his thru hiking days are over. He is happy to do 15 miles per day now.
I chatted with him for almost a half hour. He is one interesting guy. He has no phone, no home, no computers, no car. His mail is held in Maryland by his sister. In the winter you will find him hiking the trails of Florida and in the summer, his home is on the PCT. His backpack is his one worldly possession. If there could be such a thing, this man is a true forest gnome. He tells me that in the last 10 years, he has logged almost 20,000 miles on the PCT. As I started on my way, he left me with this saying: "Enjoy the trail, drink it all in. For you may not pass this way again."
Well, it is a bit difficult to "drink it all in" when you are hiking the PCT. You are on a mission. The mission is miles. For me, I have numbers that I look at during the day to see how the day is going. Here are my numbers:
Nine by Nine: Wow, that would be wonderful. I think I may have done two 9 by 9's since we started. Barb and I did one once from hikertown out along the aquaduct. You would have to start well before 6 am or have very fast trail to do a 9 by 9.
Ten by Ten: Much more doable. If I do a 10 by 10 I am very happy about the start of the day. Usually it is more like a 9 by 10. I'm even ok with that!
Noon is a big marker for me. If I can do a 15 by noon, I will be extremely pleased and well on my way for the day. Think about it. You start at 6:30, hike for 5 and one half hours, that is just under 3 mph average. 14 or even 13 by noon is ok. If I am at 12 miles by 12, I consider myself in trouble.
My big marker is at 3 pm. I still have up to 5 hours to fix things. If I am at 20 miles by 3, again, I am one happy camper. Nine hours of hiking into 20 miles equals about 2.2 mph overall average. It is quite doable. With 5 more hours of light, I can easily knock out ten more miles.
Oregon is great for racking up big miles. There is no snow, the trail is mostly clear and not overloaded with rocks or roots. The vertical here is nothing like that in California. 3,000 vertical is a reasonable day here, not 5K. I take short breaks. Perhaps during a day, I might be on break a total of one to two hours. That includes picture taking, water aquisition and lunch.
I did take a longish break today at mile 1970. there is a beautiful stream there. It has a small rock island, covered with Spring flowers. I shot stills and movies and just sat there for awhile in amazement.
Jack And Barb Take On The PCT
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