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Begins: Apr 22, 2011
Date: Mon, Aug 1st, 2011
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 1,334.0
Entry Visits: 2,396
Journal Visits: 38,007
Guestbook Views: 1,032
Guestbook Entrys: 31
Pacific Crest Trail Map
1. Ok, I called it quits after hiking about 1/2 of the total distance. So why? Well, I didn't see me having enough time to finish by the end of Sept and my 86 year old father wants to go fishing in Montana. The trail will always be there.... So, I am headed to Montana, via Virginia to get my car and family.
2. I had a blast..... I enjoyed seeing all the animals (6 bears, Roosevelt Elk, Mule and Blacktail Deer, Racoon's, Marmots, Bobcat's, mice etc.), the views of the mountains, the adventure of crossing mountain passes, climbing to the top of Whitney, crossing streams, watching Rhino Carry Swiss Miss and her gear off Whitney (he didn't carry her all the way, but some, in snow...). and the friends I made. Rhino who I am still watching on his northbound adventure in SPEED. Holly, Mark and Pac10 as they Flop back north. Really enjoyed the dynamics of having Mark, Holly and Pac10 around. My age and more interested in the journey than the destination. Mother Goose on the ADT and someone who I admire and learned a lot of "long distance craftsmanship from", I hope the two Angels you have with you stay with you always. Soup wherever your at, be safe and "finish what you started" on your own terms. And most of all, to Echo and Outpost. I miss ya, I miss the daily discusions we had and the way our little team made it through so much. Echo, the planner. Smart, organized, caring, beautiful, and the one I couldn't hope to keep up with on the down hills. Outpost, the brilliant one, the thinker, the analyst who kept us from straying to far off track. The one who saw adventure in every turn. I am so glad I met you, and hopefully we will be friends for life.
3. Flippers, Floppers and Skippers. Ok, let me get on my soap box. First, let me say two things for a point of reference. 1. The PCT is not the AT, and this year in particular, is not a trail that can be hiked as a purest (more on that later). 2. If you steal your a thief regardless of the value, or the size. If your pregnant, your pregnant. These are two examples in my book that say if you Flip Flop, you Flip Flop, and if you Skip you Skip regardless if there is reason or not, thats just the fact of the matter. A few of us Flipped and Flopped the trail this year. Some even did it early by going to Idyllwild and then going south to "Pines to Palms" and then back to Idyllwild and north again, a mini flip. But, all of those hiking this year skipped some part of the trail. The reason is simple, it was covered in snow and for the most part could not be seen or the snow could easily be avoided by a "close to the trail" route. Examples, some skipped Fuller Ridge, some hit the last 1000 feet of elevation of Baden-Powell and just went up vice trying to find the trail and its switch backs. Some left the summit of Baden Powell via the west slope, dirt path down rather than go back down the mountain to the Waldon Tree and take the PCT side slope around. Some went strait up to the switchbacks of Forrester rather than the trail that switchbacked to the west. The only way to stay "on the trail" was to stare at a GPS. Nobody did that to my knowledge. What most have done is "generally follow" the PCT north, without jumping to do any southbound. Good on ya. Most important, HYOH. What is the perfect PCT for you, may not be for someone else. You may want to do it in 91 days and I may want to see a dozen bears. HYOH and know that its the best hike for you.
4. Who has it toughest? I would say those who stayed the course and hiked from Mexico to Canada, via staying on a northheading pace. These have it third hardest. Second hardest would be the South Bounders who start in Canada. All the snow, and virtually zero Angels and Trail Magic to help them get to Mexico. Think about NO water at 3rd gate? ETC. and who do I think has it the hardest? Section hikers. WHY? They have to do all the same ground, but don't get a couple months to get into shape to do it. I think I am in some of the best shape this old man has been in, in a decade. It took me months to get there.
5. Good on all the hikers this year. The ones who only went a mile, those who did 500, 1000, 1500, 2000 and those who go all the way my hat is off to you all. Most especially those who make it from Canada to Mexico in one long set of unbroken footprints. WOW, AWESOME, you rock...
For all, focus on enjoying the journey, not just the destination.