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Sawtooth - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2013

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City: San Diego
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 28, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Mar 24th, 2013
Start: San Diego
End: San Diego

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 3,750
Journal Visits: 18,338
Guestbook Views: 1,009
Guestbook Entrys: 18

Last PLB Location

Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Getting ready for this thing

I decided I needed to hike the Pacific Crest Trail several years ago. Last year I retired from the workaday world and the possibility of actually doing this thing became real. This journal is intended for family and friends who would like to follow along as I try to make it happen.

Through-hiking the PCT has long been a dream / fantasy / obsession for me. All of my backpacking trips of the past few years were made with this grand cruise in mind, including the 220-mile John Muir Trail last summer (where I learned all about blistered feet). Over this time I've done things with PCT preparation in mind. I’ve selected gear to get my pack weight down to a respectable 16 pound, not counting food or water. I’ve read and re-read journals from PCT veterans, some of which were hugely inspirational and well worth reading even for people who don't want to do this. I chatted with every PCTer I could while I was in the Sierra. I bought and have been using a food dehydrator, the better able to make mass quantities of food that tastes better than the salt-encrusted commercial freeze-dried food. I could go on and on, but the point is, I’ve thought about and prepared for this thing for quite a while.

And then… About two months ago, a very slight problem with tendonitis in my left foot became a major problem. Normally, this sort of thing would cause a sore foot for a few days and then disappear. Not this time. After resting it for a few weeks, even a 3-mile cruise around a local lake (read: flat terrain) caused significant pain. So, until very recently I faced the awful possibility that this wasn’t going to be the year. But I’m a stubborn sort, with an optimistic (but not always sunny) disposition. I am declaring here and now that the hike is on! I’ve got my head wrapped way too far into this hike to cancel out at this point. And the foot has been doing better, after much physical therapy, prayer to the hiking spirits (I’ll never sin again… Just let me hike!), and about 2,400 mg of ibuprofen a day. Healing is coming…but at an agonizingly slow pace.

As a concession to my uncooperative foot, I have altered my hiking plan to more gradually ramp up the daily mileage. The PCT is about 2,650 miles long and hikers need to average about 20 miles per day to finish before the snow starts closing out the trail in the northern Cascades. I’m going to start slower, at least until my foot says it’s ok to let ‘er rip. My plan is to start on April 20 and cover the 1st 100 miles at a slower pace, say 15 miles per day. Then I'll catch a ride to the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO), which is a gathering of the tribes for all those hiking the trail this year. The ADZPCTKO is held the weekend of April 27 at Lake Morena, a county park and campground about 20 miles north of the border. On Sunday, the 28th, I’ll return to Warner Springs to resume the hike, with a pain-free foot I hope. But for the foot, all other preparations are going very well. In future posts I’ll provide some details of the Pacific Crest Trail, how people actually complete this hike, and my own hiking plan.

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Journal Photo

Pacific Crest Trail - 2013

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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