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Begins: Apr 14, 2017
Date: Mon, May 23rd, 2016
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Pacific Crest Trail Map
It's been about 5 months since I realized I was going to try to hike the PCT. I remember browsing the shelves of my college's library after class and seeing Wild
there. That title sounds familiar,
I thought. Oh yeah. This is the book about the woman who hiked that really long trail...
I had seen the book displayed in the "new" and "bestselling" sections at bookstores and decided, what the hell, I'll see what the fuss is about.
Now, I'm not saying that Wild
was a life-changing read for me. It wasn't. It was a quick, easy read about a woman who looked for a way to heal herself after the death of her mother and found it on the PCT. There was little in there about the trail itself that wasn't tinged with the author's own motives; however, the book did prompt me to start researching the stuff about the trail about which I was really curious. For three days, gear reviews, gear lists and PCT-focused blogs consumed me. I found "Halfway Anywhere"
and soaked up every ounce of information to be had there. I found Rocket Llama
and her PCT comics which left me pining for the natural beauty, comraderie among hikers, adventure and self-actualization portrayed there--qualities that my life still sorely lacks.
I've never done anything a tenth so risky, so big as hike 2600 miles, alone, through the wilderness before. Of course I like to hike and camp, but I'm definitely not experienced at backpacking. I went once...for two days, about four years ago. On top of my inexperience, there was the daunting cost of such a big adventure. I was floored when I first calculated the cost of this trip at almost $ 10,000. I was unemployed at the time and couldn't imagine saving that kind of money, only to blow it on a nature walk. And yet, I still wanted to. These days I'm a lowly pump jockey at a Fred Meyer here in Oregon, putting away $ 100 each week in the hopes of reaching my new goal of $ 8000. This week I reached $ 3000 and I couldn't be more sure that I'm going to do this in 2017. Sure, some catastrophe could strike at any time and put an end to my dreams--I could wreck my car, lose my job or do something to acquire some hefty hospital bills--but something tells me that's not going to happen.
I'm going to start buying gear soon. I need to get most of it before the summer ends so I can test it, familiarize myself with it...or I could wait until the end of this season and try to buy used stuff from PCT hikers. I'm not too worried about it; I have 11 months to figure it out.
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