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Begins: Apr 20, 2015
Date: Sun, Mar 1st, 2015
Start: Mexico Border
Entry Visits: 1,463
Journal Visits: 39,444
Guestbook Views: 2,206
Guestbook Entrys: 54
Pacific Crest Trail Map
So it begins. A trail journey that has been years in the making. I along with my family have spent many days over many years hiking on the PCT over several sections in Washington State. Over the last four years my daughter (Trail name Red-Feather) and I have hiked all but about 50 miles of Washington State. We have been learning and testing not only ourselves, but what works and doesnt work for equipment and food. Hopefully, we have this pretty dialed in, but I have learned we need to be flexible so when change is needed we can make a change and keep it a positive experience.
As the time to depart closes in I am still working on physical conditioning, which mostly is done at the fitness center from about 5 am to 6:45 am. Since it doesnt get light early enough to hike outside like I can in the Spring and Summer I have increased aerobic stress by throwing 30 lbs. in my pack while walking 3.9 mph on the tread mill at 11% grade. Most of the challenge in this is just hanging on! Hands start to go numb after 10 15 minutes. I go for 25 30 minutes. Also do 20 25 minutes without added weight. In between the aerobics I work out the major muscle groups using weights. Saturdays I head into the mountains to get some trail distance and elevation work carrying about a 28 lb. pack. Both Red-Feather and I should have a good physical base built up when we start at the border to head north. However, I am sure the trail will refine us physically, mentally, and emotionally as we head north for Canada.
Food has been a big issue that we have worked on for several years. I feel really lucky that Red-Feather is with me. She is fantastic at cooking and planning meals. We are presently in the process of getting food together (selected and packaged) for my wife to ship to us at the 26 mail drops we have planned (at least at the moment). Freezer bag cooking works well for us, and thats what all of our on trail dinners will be. Through Red-Feathers skill we have meals with high calorie, low weight, and great taste. Plan is only heat water primarily for our dinners, although we may also heat up something other times when and if we get cold. Hoping to limit fuel used (Pocket Rocket and fuel canister) within reason, since the more we use, the more we carry.
Gear selection has only been found by a lot of reading/studying, trial and error. The error has sometimes proved painful, especially when it comes to foot wear. I will soon put most of my gear on the gear list and talk about gear in a later post.
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