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Clausman - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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Joshua Clausman
City: AMES
State: IA
Country: US
Begins: May 9, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Mar 3rd, 2011
Start: Ames, IA
End: Ames, IA
Daily Distance: 0
Entry Lat: 42.0347222
Entry Lng: -93.619722

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,196
Journal Visits: 6,912
Guestbook Views: 144
Guestbook Entrys: 2

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Hello, hello! The five Ws

Hello loved ones, friends and other readers!

This is my first entry on Postholer and so I decided to give an overview of my trip plans. In school I was also taught the five W's and according to some you learn everything you need to know in Kindergarde, so I will start off with the basics.


Joshua James Clausman is the name, programming computers and hiking mountains is the game. I am the ripe age of 22; majoring in Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. My mother Ann and stepfather Jeff both live in the southern Iowa town I grew up in. My dad Rich an brother Matt both reside in the great state of California. Matt works for an aerospace company and Dad is a retired engineer who started out as an Iowa farmer. I am romantically in love with the smell of pine trees, the feeling of mud between my toes and watching fog roll between mountian tops. I also love to climb things I probably shouldn't climb... I take a Taoistic philosophy on life, believing that key to life is happiness. Happiness isn't something you achieve, strive for or earn enough money to buy; it is something you find within yourself. I often find myself so caught up in the business of everyday life that I forget the importance of just enjoying the moment. Hiking helps remind me of the importance of enjoying the little things in life, of living simply.


Three states, 2,650 miles, approximately 47 million footsteps: the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Starting at the Mexico border near Campo, CA and continuing north to Manning Park, Canada, the Pacific Crest Trail is a scenic trail following the Pacific mountain ranges. Every year thousands of equestrians and hikers enjoy the trail, although only a few hundred attempt to complete its entirety. The trail braves a variety of climates and terrain from the low deserts of Southern California to the High Sierra at over 10,000 ft to the serene rainy mountains of Washington. A couple of interesting facts from the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA):

- It was recently pointed out that fewer people have thru-hiked the PCT than have climbed Mt. Everest! Could it be that a thru-hike is tougher than climbing the tallest mountain on Earth?

- The PCT crosses the world-famous San Andreas Fault three times!

- In California, hikers and riders on the PCT often must cover 20 to 30 miles of trail between water sources. The longest waterless stretch on the trail is 35.5 miles, north of Tehachapi.


I will be leaving Ames, IA after finals week (May 2-6) at Iowa State University. My dad and brother will be visiting relatives in Iowa so I will catch a ride back to CA with them. They will be dropping me off at the start off in Campo, CA (the start of the trail) probably on Monday. Then let the adventure begin! I will continue to hike the entirety of my summer break from Iowa State. At the end of the summer, Aug 12, we will see how far I make it. I am not expecting to finish the entire trail but who knows, maybe I will grow some wings and start chugging out 40 miles days! (that was a joke by the way)


Trail Start: South of Campo, CA beside Mexico border.

Trail End: Manning Park, Canada nine miles north of border.

Some key points to note on my travel schedule.

- The third week of the summer, May 21-28, I will be at the International Conference for Software Engineering in Honolulu, Hawaii. I will be helping to present my experiences with a software development class where we collaborated with Jilin University in China.

- Since Dad and I are estimate the snow load will still be high I am planning to jump from Kennedy Meadows in the southern Seirras to Lake Taheo in the northing Sierras. Although this breaks the typical thru-hiker mentality my hike is more a battle against the clock then anything. I want to see how far I can make it before the end of summer. Not only is kicking foot holes in the snow slow, but it can also be dangerous for a lone hiker like me.


Hands down the hardest question to answer. Maybe by the end of the summer I will be able to update this entry and actually explain my reasoning for hiking all summer. The best I can explain it is something you just feel like you need to do something, and in those situations I always find that it is best not to argue with yourself. Instead just throw it all to the wind and dive head first, figure it all out when you resurface.

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Journal Photo

Clausman's PCT Adventure

Joshua J Clausman
Compter Engineering, Iowa State University


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