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Begins: May 21, 2011
Date: Fri, Jan 21st, 2011
Entry Visits: 3,419
Journal Visits: 245,706
Guestbook Views: 9,768
Guestbook Entrys: 133
Welcome to my PCT journal. To all the hikers that I will meet on the adventure I just want to say that I’m looking forward to meeting all of you along the way. And due to my late May start date you can be certain that I will be reading your journals and walking with you until I’m able to leave on May 22nd. 121 days and counting. To all "thinking about it" hikers I hope I can provide a bit of useful information. And finally to everyone else, hopefully I can provide a bit of entertainment.
A little about me. At 45 I will be one of the older hikers hitting the trail. I have doing extensive backpacking trip into the Sierra for the last 5 years and even started doing snowshoe trips into the heart of the Sierras because the hiking season was too short. I tend to do very long days, hiking from can’t see to can’t see and covering very long miles. Because few hikers are into this type of trip I do most of my trips solo. I met quite a few PCT and AT hikers over the years and after hiking the JMT three years ago I starting thinking about doing a thru myself. But wait, what about work, family…….. It took me a while to quiet the voices that were telling me why it couldn’t be done and finally after a trip down the PCT from Sonora Pass I figured out that I could probably pull off a 100 day trip.
But could I do the PCT in 100 days? So I starting researching the trail and found that 100 day schedule was possible but that it would be extremely challenging. Most days I would need to hike 30 mile days and keep the neros and zeros to a minimum. For the next 9 months I proved to myself that I could do the high mileage and more importantly that would I enjoy it. So I started off hiking 30 mile day hikes on the AT here in GA and working my way up to 48 miles a day. As a test I attempted to hike the 168 mile Tahoe Rim Trail in 4 days. I made it over 100 miles in 2.5 days before a early season stormed dumped a foot of snow but after hiking 41 and 42 miles at elevation I knew I was ready. So I went from planning to commitment.
So now I’m in the middle of the preparations. My maps are printed, resupply points picked, food plan complete, gear picked and mostly purchased, shoes selected and 6 pairs purchased and I have packaged up 50lbs. of maltodextrin (80k calories) that will be mid mid-afternoon energy. When someone told me that I was going to turn into a clump of maltodextrin I picked up my trail name of Malto. Now, the journal is started and will begin the final phase of getting myself physically and mentally in top shape. I will be picking up my 1 and 2 day high mileage hikes on the AT and will get to meet the hoardes of aspiring AT thru-hikers that start that trail every spring. I may have to deliver some mobile trail magic and gets the trail karma flowing. (Trail Magic is acts of kindness that hikers run into from a variety of trail angels. Brownies at a road crossing would be a great example, or sent to a starving hiker at any of the resupply points. Hint, hint!)
If I am in CA in April near the kickoff I will make the trek down and bid the PCT Class of 2011 farewell down the trail. If not I will meet most of them heading into the Sierra in late June. And by the way, don’t let the snow freak you out, others before us have gone through a lot worse and we can too.
121 Days and Counting
Malto's PCT Adventure
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
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