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Dan "OffTrail" Maher
City: San Diego
Begins: Mar 31, 2015
Date: Mon, Aug 3rd, 2015
Trip Distance: 776.9
Entry Visits: 2,413
Journal Visits: 23,666
Guestbook Views: 1,429
Guestbook Entrys: 26
Gear list Journal Plan
Pacific Crest Trail Map
The Final Entry - despite my desire for brevity, there is no short answer to the various questions I have been asked over the past few weeks - how was the trip?, what did you learn?, what was the best part?
The Stats - my goal was to finish the California section of the PCT (1700mi) and bring family and friends to join me. I only managed to walk 900 miles in total, but left the trail 4 times for personal events, and had 16 different people join me on 10 sections, and 7 of them were first time backpackers. Overall, I feel really good about the entire experience.
This was a terrific adventure - not of the extreme variety, but rather, one of endurance and patience. Discovering new mountains and hidden valleys, being awestruck by countless breathtaking vistas, choked by emotion on the approach to Forester Pass, enjoying the easy banter of thru-hikers, dealing with my distaste for long periods of solitude, bringing family and friends backpacking in the wilderness (some for the first time), accepting a different PCT goal, enjoying new music to help the hours pass, swimming in mountain lakes and streams, burning trout over an open fire, and finishing this long walk with old friends. Those are some of my initial thoughts.
I learned that: the PCT is a lonely place if you start early in the season; I prefer hiking with family and friends; I really enjoy mentoring new backpackers and introducing them to the wilderness experience; walking long distances, as The Goal, is not my cup of tea; slowing down is really hard to do, even on the trail.
Why did I hike the PCT? - simply to accomplish another outdoor goal. That?s it.
Certainly, not to find myself nor to lose myself - as I have told my sons many times, I am very comfortable in my own skin. And the PCT ethos, Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH) fit my style perfectly.
Over the next few years I will probably return to the trail, to complete sections that I skipped; to bring more new backpackers into the wilderness; to experience, again, the joy of early morning walks on a quiet trail, ridgeline walking, crossing a mountain pass or the sweeping vistas around every bend.
Hope to see you out there.
OffTrail - this time, I'll have to stay on trail! With a leisurely pace and many guests joining me on trail for short sections, I expect this to be a terrific experience for all. Come join me on the trail!
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