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Jgar15 - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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Jeff "Legend" Garmire
City: Corvallis
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: May 12, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Sep 20th, 2011
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 2,663.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 3,604
Journal Visits: 45,144
Guestbook Views: 723
Guestbook Entrys: 10

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

The end with a video

The journey is over, the adjustment back to the other side of life has begun. But for a moment I wanted to think back on the amazing journey that I got to experience this summer. First off the story of how my dad and I got back to the states is one worth sharing:

After waking up at the border, we had 9 miles to hike in order to get to the remote ski resort of manning park in order to get to society. The walk was mediocre at best with very few good views and the constant knowledge that the miles that I was hiking did not even count. I was already done. Even so we completed our journey around 11. This was too late too catch the greyhound that leaves at 11am every day from the park, so we focused on cleaning up (shower/laundry) and then getting some food in us. Luckily the resort had a hot tub that they let us use and it felt amazing. Then we settled for an above average meal at the only restaurant in the area. Now that all our chores were done we decided to make a run at trying to get back in an area with either internet, phone service, hotels, or real civilization. Being a thru hiker, the only real option I knew was to hitchhike. We walked to the highway and thumbed it. We were greeted by no one and shown no sympathy. After over an hour in the hot sun we took a break before our next attempt at getting a ride. In round two of our hitchhiking it took over an hour but we ended up finally getting a ride from a couple on their way to the beach. It may have been the fact that I had not been in a car in a while, but it seemed the whole way that they were driving way too fast and looking at the scenery way more than they were looking at the road. Sure enough 30 miles into the drive, they were pulled over by the police along with the car behind us. The car behind us got a DUI and our driver got a speeding ticket. This unraveled her and the next 20 miles were nothing short of terrifying. Between the chain smoking, constant eating and her lack of attention to the road, sitting helplessly in the back seat seemed like the last place I wanted to be. Luckily we made it to Chilliwack alive. From here we were hoping to get to Abbotsford before too late and then walk across the border the next day. But first, still having the thru hiker hunger I was ready for dinner. We walked over a mile looking for a place to eat and asked multiple people until we finally found a nice restaurant with some very pretty waitresses called Earls. My dad and I had some drinks, good food, and a nice chat with a couple of the waitresses. I turned out that the power of my adventure and the stories I could pull from it and share landed us a ride to Abbotsford with one of the waitresses. The catch was we had to wait an hour until ten when she was off. It was a no-brainer. We got a dessert and a couple more drinks and the waiting began. It was a bit longer of a wait than we had expected but it was well worth it once we finally were able to get to the hotel. The desk clerk at the hotel ended up getting a watered down version of my story and it convinced him to leave the pool open for a while longer. After hearing my story though, he asked me if I was in hurricane Irene. It was one of the situations where it was not even worth it to try to explain to him that the hurricane was 2000 miles away and that I had been unaffected. 6 hours of sleep, a quick trip to the canadian coffee place 'Tim hortons' and we were off across the border. Since technically your not supposed to hike across the border as we did, we told border patrol we just had been hiking in British Columbia for a few days. They bought it and we were through. Into the town of Sumas we walked and began our next leg of hitch hiking. This time it was to bellingham. We were picked up quickly by a guy named Toby. He talked in third person, told us he was psychic and could read tarot cards. I personally was not sure if he was playing with a full deck. Either way he took us all the way from sumas to bellingham. from here we took the bus to the airport, rented a car and drove home. All in all the trip home cost us $ 44 total compared to a greyhound that would have cost us at least $ 65 each just to get to Vancouver, BC. Hitch hiking is truly the most economical way to travel.

The pacific crest trail was a life changing journey. It taught me things like there is so much out there, I dont need much to be happy, and most of all I can do anything that I set my mind to. The desert in southern california was truly the most influential part of the trail. Getting dropped off with just my backpack and a plan to get 2700 miles north to canada was a very unique feeling. Nervousness mixed with excitement. But over the 650 miles of the southern california desert, that dream to make it the whole way began to turn to a reality and instilled a confidence in me that I would be able to make it. After all once I was done with by far the ugliest section of trail, it would be a constant joy and eye opening experience to hike the rest. Central california brought some of the best times on the trail. For the time I hiked with escalator, hot cheese, and Dr. Chonzies I had the most fun, was surrounded by the best views and terrain, and was challenged with obstacles I had never dreamed of. The streams were giant, and sometimes had the power to take a person away, the hills were covered in snow and had to ability to humble even the most experienced climbers, but I made it through them all and lived up to the trail name I had been given as legend. It was not something others had not done and wouldnt continue to do, it was something that I had never known I could do. From here anything was possible. Northern California went by so fast, as I increased my mileage to average over 30 miles a day. Then once I entered Oregon I was greeted by family and friends at every place I wanted to stop. The absence of some of the wonder that california had, was fulfilled by the kindness of the people I knew. The walk across the bridge of the gods foreshadowed what washington would bring. Epicness. Everything in washington was bigger harder, and more amazing. It was not the sierras of central california but it came close to rivaling it in a totally different way. The giant mountains of Adams, St helens, Rainier, and glacier peak rose out of the jagged peaks that made up one of the most desolate mountain ranges on the trail. The constant ascent and descent of these peaks made it a very trying section especially at over 30 miles a day, but the views were so amazing that it was worth it to push that extra mile at the end of the day and witness a great sunset. But I could not have asked for a better way to end the trail than having my dad at my side. He was a trooper and held up a lot better than I did my first week on the trail. We had an amazing time and finished in style a day earlier than we expected.

119 days 2700 miles and a frame of mind that will never be the same. Anyone can do it and everyone should. A video of the trip:

This journey has been brought to you by Legend. Anything is possible

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