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Karra "Red Feather" Russell
Begins: Apr 20, 2015
Date: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015
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Pacific Crest Trail Map
I just want to stop thinking about the never ending to do list for a moment to focus on why do this? If you'r planning on doing the PCT or any other long distance hike then you probably have that "itch" to be on the trail. I don't know your reasons why but here are mine based off my experiance hiking all over washington state.
First off, the trail and I have a long love hate relationship. I used to hate hiking with a passion! During my childhood my family (all seven of us kids) was forced, by my dad, to go on hikes, LONG ones. The first long hike I went on I was five. We went the 126 miles from Rainy Pass to Stevens Pass. It was summer! I wanted to be lazy! I wasn't exactly in hiking shape when we only went on one LONG hike a year. The worst part was that we all had to hike as fast as we possibly could to keep up with my dad even though his pack was, no joke, over 70 lbs in those days. There was a lot of, I love being in the mountains but I hated hiking. But, even then there was never a time where at the top of a peek or at the end of the day I thought "that was not worth the effort". As soon as the effort is over I'm surrouneded by such beauty I forget it ever happened.
My love for hiking started once hiking became a choice of my own. No one likes to being forced, usually it makes you hate something you may actually love otherwise; which was my case. Something else that defiantly helped me enjoy hiking more was getting into hiking shape. I can finally (well usually) keep up with my dad! Lucky for me he is getting older and I'm in my prime. So that helps...
I never feel such peace as I do on the trail. A bad day on the trail is REALLY bad but, a good day is the BEST DAY of my LIFE. The trail has always been an amazing teacher. It teaches me so much about myself. It pushes me far beyond my limits and then some and then some more. I remember days where half the day or even the whole day I ran on will power alone. A couple of summers ago on a five day hike (about 20 miles a day) my feet hurt so bad the whole time I actually considered crawling. The shoes I had did not agree with my feet. My feet felt like with each step they were being hit with a 150 lbs sledgehammer and the pain went up my Achilles tendon. Later I found out it was partly tendon fasciitis. I have since resolved the issue which involves streaching my Achilles tendon, wearing flexible shoes and putting my feet up at night.
No matter how much pain you feel (to an extent, don't be crazy and hike on a broken foot or something) the trail delivers such beauty and peace it's worth it. The trail has always had a way of teaching me exactly what I need to learn. It has been a spiritual healer and teacher with no judgments, no expectations and no limits.
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