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Begins: Apr 6, 2015
Date: Sat, Feb 14th, 2015
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Pacific Crest Trail Map
It is a balmy winter evening in Southern California and I just got back from a run. I am so lucky to live here with this weather, access to the outdoors and ocean close by, plus all my friends and family. The last 5 years I spent in the midwest, in a city where the pavement is frozen half the year and the traffic signals have the yellow shortened in order to boost red-light ticket revenue for politicians with privatization fetishes. I was never a Cubs fan anyways...
2014 Common Era: a year that began with high stratospheric morale, and followed up with multi-blows: a good friend's sudden death, an icy dark indoor-bound winter, terror-inducing run-ins with sociopathic MDs, an expensive car break-in, the loss of a dear uncle, and capped off with a subtly blooming romantic relationship that ended in an unexpected and cold break-up. And not to mention a cross-country move somewhere in the middle... I just need a minute to clear my mind. Actually lets make it a solid 3.5 months for that purpose.
The PCT? Everybody freaking hikes the PCT! There's books and movies about it, this dude I knew in college did it. I'd rather hike through virgin biomes and avoid Yosemite during that time of year when Toulomne Meadows is blanketed in tourists. I will retain my ice axe long past the Sierras.
Calm down bro! See how grouchy I am? Time to relax, Gregory, and plan your resupplies... Make an effort to get back your usual happy social self.
I need this trip. I'm doing the PCT this year like many others, and despite my brooding thoughts (obviously still hung up on the last year) its going to be a $ *#@$ % blast. Besides, I'll meet tons of great people, make lots of friends, get my nature fix for the next [unspecified length of time], and acquire the experience I need for future outings on more challenging terrain...
This idea materialized in my consciousness somewhere halfway through an intense Biology lecture & lab during the Mt San Antonio College winter session. I had been looking for an out, it had been my intention all along to bookend my snowy midwest semi-decade with a serious adventure, and when the person I had been planning to have it with bailed... things stalled. They're back on track now. I'm no stranger to long-distance long-term adventures, having done solo bicycle tours across the US, Europe and New Zealand in my early 20s. Those experiences contributed enormously to my personality and made me very confident in my abilities. I will be relying on myself to travel over 2,000 miles by foot, to minimize the risks and avoid the perils along the way. I will certainly have help and give help. It takes tremendous planning and forethought, all of which will pay off I have no doubt.
I am never so stimulated as I am when my surroundings are continuously changing. I never sleep as well as when I just lay on the ground and doze off watching for shooting stars. I am never so calm as when I enjoy the sunrise and am surrounded by nothing human-made. I would hike through snowy mountains just to drink the water. Take lots of pictures...
That is my interesting prologue. I hope it gives good background. The next posts will probably be about preparing, food planning, gear selection, random thoughts. I am 1.5 months out and still need to buy about $ 1000 worth of banana chips, fritos, snickers and mixed nuts... Oh and I'll definitely include some pictures, to give a visual sense of this journey.
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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: www.pcta.org