View/Sign my Guestbook
Gan$ ta Rap
City: San Francisco
Begins: May 5, 2011
Date: Fri, Sep 30th, 2011
Trip Distance: 75.4
Entry Visits: 1,606
Journal Visits: 15,380
Guestbook Views: 427
Guestbook Entrys: 16
Pacific Crest Trail Map
September 29th, Manning Park Hostel/Bus Ride to Seattle, mp 2663
Well I ended up taking a layover day at Manning Park and will catch the morning bus into Vancouver, and from there to Seattle. I made it in time, but my passport didn't. Luckily it arrived in the afternoon mail. Now it's here, and so am I, so all is well.
I'm officially done. It's pretty weird. I don't think it's really set in yet. While the trail did have its many challenges and moments of disaster, I'm already starting to realize all the little things that I'll miss:
-Living on the sun schedule. In my hostel, the light from the hallway is slipping in around the door to my room. It's irritating. Why do we need that blaring light? The sun is down, so it shouldn't be dark out.
-Excitement. Life on the trail was really exciting! Crazy neat stuff was always going down. Scenery and company was always changing. I feel (and fear) that life back in the real world is going to be oddly mundane. Remember, just waking up and putting on your shoes is boring. Now putting on frozen shoes?! That is exciting! I haven't watches tv or a movie in 5 months. I've never been bored enough to in town, and I obviously hadn't had one in the woods. I really like not having a tv around.
-Few possessions (and improvising). Everything I've needed was in my pack. The fewer things I had, the less weight I carried and the easier it was to pack my pack. It was really simple only having 20 lbs of stuff. I think back to moving home from Washington and all the stuff I had to fit in my tiny car. Gosh I have so much stuff at home. Whenever I didn't have something that I needed, I'd have to creatively improvise. No towel? Just use a bandana! No pillow? Strategically stuff clothing into a stuff sack. No clothes to wear to a music festival? Go to the thrift store! Everywhere I went I had my portable house, bed, kitchen, and pantry. I'm really going to miss that.
-Drinking water from the source. It's just nice.
-Quiet. Especially when I was hiking alone, every day I would take time to just stop and listen. It can be so quiet. Cities are loud.
-Raw. The wilderness areas I walked through were so raw. So untouched and unaltered. Everything around me now is totally different than it once was.
-Midday interactions with wildlife.
-Simple goals: hike until I get to Canada. Simple enough, really.
-Traveling group of friends. Everywhere I ended up, I'd quickly search out the hikers in town and meet up with them. Even if we'd just met, I'd instantly have new friends. That was pretty cool.
-Peeing whenever and wherever I want to.
-Living really sustainably. I saved a lot of water and fossil fuels. I used about 3 tablespoons of water to wash my one dish, which was then immediately evaporated up from the soil. I took a shower every 7-10 days. I didn't drive. I hardly used any electricity.
-No standing in lines, no sitting in traffic.
Of course, there is a lot of stuff won't miss:
-Getting out of my warm sleeping bag in the morning.
-The food. Fresh fruits and veggies please.
-Being in pain, but hiking anyways.
-Carrying my pack. It's just not good for the spine.
-Hiking in the rain.
So you only have 10 days and want to hike the most awesome sections of the PCT. Where should you go? Here is a list of my top hits:
-Parts of SoCal were really awesome, and the great thing? No Bugs! Idyllwild to Big Bear was pretty cool -- it was so different than your typical California hike. Also Cajon Pass to Wrightwood was very different than I would have expected. Check it out if you're down there.
-The High Sierra (Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows). The best of the best. Most scenic, huge mountains, lots of crazy snow. Be sure to do Whitney.
-Trinity Alps Wilderness and Mountain Marble Wilderness (Kalamath Range, Northern California). So pretty. Hidden gems of NorCal. I really want to go back to these places and go on a slower hike. Probably the place I'm most likely to return to.
-Crater Lake. The PCT is only on the rim for 5 miles, but those were some of the best miles of the hike. Oddly enough, the 100 miles before and after aren't super awesome (mostly since the bugs were terrible, but the scenery wasn't too exciting either).
-South Sister Wilderness/Mt.Jefferson State Park. Northern Oregon. Definitely the best stretch of trail in Oregon.
-Goat Rocks Wilderness. Mt. Adams and getting up close and personal with Rainier.
-Glacier Peak Wilderness (northern Washington). Absolutely fantastic. You're really out there too. Super remote.
If you're following my blog and don't know me in real life, you may wonder what I'm doing next. I mean, I'm starting to understand that the PCT is pretty hard act to follow, but I'm really excited for all of life's next adventures. I'm going to spend October taking it easy... Spending time with family, re-organizing my life a bit, visiting friends, ect. Then in I'll be going to New Zealand for November to visit Colin and do some exploration. It'll be summer again there, so I'm really looking forward to that. Come January, I'll be starting a master's program in forest ecology at the University of Montana, which is my next big undertaking. Really stoked about this opportunity!!
So thanks for following my journey. I hope it was interesting. If you are thinking about hiking the PCT... DO IT!! It's an experience like no other. If the trail is calling you, answer it. It's calling you for a reason; it has things to show you and teach you. Don't force it; go with the flow. Life on the PCT just works out.
Peace, Love, PCT.
--Gang$ ta Rap
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