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Zbuster9000 - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2012

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Jordan Z
City: Victorville
State: California
Country: United States
Begins: May 1, 2012
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Mar 10th, 2012
Start: I15 and 138
End: Lake Silverwood
Daily Distance: 30
Trip Distance: 65.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 956
Journal Visits: 1,930
Guestbook Views: 68
Guestbook Entrys: 1


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30 mile day hike

My plan in training is to day hike as much as possible so I can hit the ground running when I start my PCT. I've been trying multiple footwear combinations to battle my ongoing feud with blisters. Last week Lt. Dan and I did about 10 miles in some new shoes I was testing out. I've tried the Merrel Moab Ventilators, the New Balance MT101, Inov8 Roclite 315's and the Altra Lone Peaks. All of these shoes are impressive in their own regards but haven't quite worked out for me the way I'd like. On to the next pair... the Brooks Cascadia 7's. These are similar in weight range to the others and have a nice wide roomy toe box. Well on the 10 mile hike with Dan, they felt very comfortable with enough protection without crossing the line of diminished returns in hindering the natural mechanics of the foot. I did however receive blisters on the bottom of my heels. Shit.

I didn't want to give up on these shoes though because the fit was there, which is rare for my complicated feet. With the day off from both my jobs, Jamie and I decided to do a day hike we have been wanting to do for a while. An out and back trip to Lake Silverwood from the I15. The mileage would end up being around 27 to 28, but we hiked a bit further along the lake just to hit 30 for the day. For this hike I would try something a bit unorthodox for footwear. From advice from others who have done the PCT, I would keep my shoes loose enough to where I could take them off without untying them, and wear the thinest socks I have that wick moisture. I ended up using some Smartwool liners I have. Well to make a long story short, I believe there is strong merit to this strategy because in 30 miles I didn't get a blister. I'm pretty hopeful this will continue to work because I know how debilitating blisters can be on a long mileage trip. My feet were sore of course but that is to be expected doing that kind of mileage you haven't done in a while.

Towards the end of the day, hot spots surfaced on a couple of my toes. I believe this is because my toes are in a constant, horribly vicious war with each other. Even with a roomy toe box, it seems all they want to do is grapple one another and put each other in sleeper holds. This leads to a fair amount of friction, which leads to blisters. So for my next day hike I'm going to try a slightly thicker sock, the Injinji toe sock liner. Hopefully it will be thin enough to dry quickly yet give my toes their own compartment so they stop fighting each other so damn much. For now, I stay hopeful that I may have just found a solution to my footwear issues.

With that being said, the hike itself was an absolute joy. Perfect weather and great scenery almost the whole way. It has been a while since I have been to Lake Silverwood and it was nice to see others on their boats and wave-runners having a good time. Jamie and I hiked to an outlook above the lake and ate lunch with an impressive panoramic view. We moved at a decent pace and both feel pretty good about our fitness levels. I used an application on my phone called Google My Tracks which keeps track of your mile, elevation, elevation gain/loss, movement speed, time started and time moving. I will list some stats below from the day.

Total Distance: 30.01

Total Time: 10:16:09

Moving Time: 8:49:22

Average Speed: 2.92 MPH

Moving Speed: 3.4 MPH

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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:


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