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Downs117 - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2012

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City: Shippensburg
State: PA
Country: USA
Begins: Jul 15, 2012
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Jun 28th, 2012
Start: The Doyle
End: Shippensburg
Daily Distance: 18.1
Trip Distance: 63.2

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 826
Journal Visits: 4,820
Guestbook Views: 305
Guestbook Entrys: 7

Pacific Crest Trail Map

A Decision Made

It is amazing how quickly we become accustomed to filth and dirt. I sat today in possibly the dirtiest place I have ever been, The Doyle bathroom, and realized with awe the change my mind had undergone in terms of acceptable cleanliness and standard of living. It was the third day and already I was contempt to play in the mud, the dirt under my fingernails long forgotten, and the smell ignored. If I were still back home, I would have been repulsed.

I left The Doyle on wobbly legs, like a fawn learning to walk, and crossed over the Juniata River by bridge before re-entering the forest. I met another hiker shortly after called "Spot", so named because he carried a GPS tracker called a Spot that would allow his wife to follow his whereabouts. Spot was Canadian, retired Air Force, and a Thru Hiker. I talked to him for some time, and he supported my plans of hiking some PCT and joining the Air Force. Only out here am I able to find such diverse people and people who truly understand my cause. Back home most folk roll their eyes at my dreams, but here they nod their heads. I am truly with my kind.

I was in terrible pain all day, and realized with a start that i could no longer keep up with my old pace and had to slow down (Up until then I was matching my 2011 thru hike miles). During my many rest stops I did a lot of thinking. I definitely want a crack at the PCT, and I definitely need more time to prepare. As such, I would need to get off trail now, as opposed to later, as I would be leaving for the wedding in Washington very soon, which is when I would jump on. Also, I know nearly nothing about the PCT.

I continued my hike towards wherever I was going, as I had never looked in my book to see what lied ahead. I ran out of water several times, and found three deer ticks on me, known carriers of lyme. The only good thing to happen during all this was my passing of a latrine just as nature called. Though they may never know it, the builder of the latrine will forever be, in my opinion, the greatest trail angel of them all.

Upon reaching PA 325, I called Gregg and asked if he would pick me up. He said he would, and so I waited. The mosquitoes were terrible due to a nearby reservoir, and I soon found myself walking down the road, thumb up as I went. Not long into it an older man named Len picked me up and agreed to take me to the nearest town. Along the way he told me stories of his time in the Air Force, and his decision to retire after they made him crawl inside a missile full of explosives to screw in a stupid pin. The ride flew by, and I soon found myself eating a chicken wrap on a Quicki-Mart curb in Tower City, PA. Gregg picked me up, exclaiming that my hitch had been in the wrong direction, adding an additional half an hour to the drive. My bad Gregg, my bad.

Entry 4 of 5
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Journal Photo

Pacific Crest Trail - 2012

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
and now I'm hiking South Bound haha


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