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Soccrosse - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2013

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Blake "soccrosse" Gardner
City: Mt. Airy
State: Md.
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 25, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Feb 10th, 2013
Daily Distance: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 891
Journal Visits: 13,366
Guestbook Views: 683
Guestbook Entrys: 24

Gear list

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Getting Started

Well here I go with my long time dream to take on a thru-hike. I just announced my retirement this past week after 40 years working for the same company. It's been a great experience and I will miss all the folks that I have come to know so well over the years but now it's time to move on and start a new adventure. So the decision to hike the PCT has been formulating over the past several years. I have section hiked the AT over a 10 year period finishing at Mt. Katahdin in 2010. When I started section hiking I always knew that I wanted to attempt a thru hike when I retired but I always envisioned it being the AT. But after thinking about it more and reading other hiker's journals and books on the PCT I have elected to try something new. The PCT is longer than the AT by approximately 500 miles and the window for completion is tighter. A thru-hike typically starts in late April and ends in early October a period of about 5 months. This is due to having to time your entry into the Sierra Nevada range at a time that allows sufficient time for some of the snow to melt and to finish in Canada before the snow begins.

So I plan on flying to San Diego on April 24th and hit the trail at the Mexican border near Campo, California the next day. I will be attending the ADZPCTKO (Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off) event starting the 26th and then head north. ADZPCTKO is an event held by previous PCT thru hikers and other volunteers and "Trail Angels" to help the incoming class of prospective thru-hikers. They provide a variety of services but most important they share their knowledge and provide encouragement. They also provide up to date trail conditions such as water reports for the desert areas (the first 700 miles travels through the Mohave and other hot and dry places) and snow conditions through the Sierras. Hey not to worry I'm sure it will be a dry heat...... I mentioned "Trail Angels" these are folks who unselfishly open their homes to sweaty, dirty, and stinky folks like me. They pick you up when you are hitch hiking into town, offer up a shower, shuttle you to the store and provide a brief respit from the trail. These folks truly are angels.

One last thought on this first entry. Many folks have said to me "i can't believe your wife is letting you do this." Well let me tell you I am very fortunate in that respect as Joette has been nothing but supportive of my dream, no matter how out there it seems to most folks. She understands how much this means to me and has continually provided encouragement. I am blessed with having a great family and they are all in my corner cheering me on.

I hope you check back often and follow me on the adventure. I'll try to provide regular updates as I head up the trail.

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Journal Photo

Blake's PCT Adventure

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) "Walden"

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.


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