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Begins: Jun 13, 2016
Date: Wed, May 18th, 2016
Start: Buck Lake Rd and PCT
Entry Visits: 636
Journal Visits: 7,764
Guestbook Views: 59
Guestbook Entrys: 5
About 3 weeks to start date
I am almost ready to return to the PCT where I left off in July of 2015. I've had about 11 months to recover from having to major tendons in my left foot repaired. The doctor told me a few months back that the tendons were in great shape. Actually, they are very likely much stronger then they were before I did whatever it was I did (I still don't know what that was). My left foot still feels different with some numbness and a slight change in the shape of the foot. Both of these have a slight effect on my balance and how I step on that foot. However, I have been doing hikes for up to 10 miles on Saturdays and don't have much problem during the hike, only a little stiffness and some slight swelling after the hike is over. Definately have made progress since the surgey last July. I have also been doing about 3 to 3.5 miles a day on equipment in the gym, five days a week for several months.
Over the last 11 months I have made some changes to my gear. For one thing I plan on hiking in shorts, but I do have full leg windpants (3 oz. from Montbell with zip bottom portion) that will be my backup for cooler/colder weather. Last year while hiking in long pants my legs seem to get as dirty as while wearing shorts, maybe dirtier. Plus, the legs of the long pants got so dirty on the inside that the legs soon felt like stiff canvas. Not that comfortable.
I also changed out my full length rain pants to a Cuben rain skirt (Zpacks), which gives me less restrictive leg movement while hiking. Plus, my hiking shorts should stay much drier since there will be a hugh increase in airflow compared to pants. I had thought about the lower part of my legs getting wet, but even in rain pants the lower portion of my pants did get wet, and the shoes get wet no matter what. The skirt comes down 3" - 4" below my knees, so I should be fine.
Another change will be using a solar panel for phone and camera charging instead of relying on a backup battery, or someplace to plug-in. The solar panel (Goal Zero) charges fine, although I have had a learning curve in how to use it. First time I took it out, on a clear winter day the wind blew enough that it nearly closed the panel. In doing this the voltage to the phone drop and my phone turned ON, which I didn't realize. After the hike my phone had less charge then when we started. Next time I secured the panel to my pack so it stayed pretty much flat. This time the phone charged about 9% during a 4 hour hike even though I was in and out of tree's and manytimes the panel wasn't facing the sun. Phone stayed OFF too. So, the panel seems like a good way to go. The panel weight is more than I'd like, at about 1 pound, while the battery was only 4.375 oz's. So I gained about 12 oz's., but I can now be independant of power sources.
I am also changing my food, but that is still in the development stage. So, stay tuned.
PCT 2016 One Step At A Time
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
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