Hello friends! Welcome to my first (and perhaps last) traditional blog post from along the trail. I’ve found that it’s much more efficient to share thoughts and images through my Instagram account. If you haven’t already, head on over there and hit the “follow” button to see what I’ve been up to.
Furthermore, you can check out my follow page to see all of my photos and a map of checkpoints I’ve been updating on the trail via my SPOT device.
But since you’re here and I find myself with a rare bit of spare time, internet connection, and a computer, I thought I’d post up some lists I’ve jotted down while hiking the first 450 miles of the PCT.
Things I’ve Come to Learn and/or Appreciate:
- The trail takes its time. The PCT, after all, is a scenic trail for hikers and horseback riders alike. It will jaunt you a mile and a half in one direction as if to say “Hey! Look at this!” and then switchback another mile and a half in the opposite direction. It is magnificent, though some hikers can find it frustrating. For instance, three miles as the crow flies can take up to fifteen miles by foot. The trail is very deliberate. As it was explained to me by a fellow hiker, “You can have a conversation with someone across the way and they can be three miles ahead of you.”
- Thru-hiking is a full time job. An awesome full time job. The best. But you are busy. Busy keeping up on the water report. The weather. Resupplying. Planning for trail closures. All sorts of good stuff.
- Nearly everyone is nursing an injury. If it’s not a knee it’s an ankle. If not an ankle it’s a heel and so on. It really brings everyone together in a strange way.
- Lizards are the coolest and they are everywhere.
- People with blisters are people who bought shoes based on popularity and not based on how they actually fit.
- Hiker hunger hits at mile 109. And it’s a beast.
- My knee hurts more with trekking poles than without them.
- Bedtime is 8PM. I wake up at 6AM sharp automatically now.
- Taking off your sunglasses and putting away your trekking poles makes it easier to get a hitch.
- A night’s rest will make your legs feel brand new again.
- A.B.S. Always Be Stretching.
- You really gotta hike your own hike. It’s not about the miles.
- The trail always provides.
Favorite Gear (so far):
- Solar umbrella. I know what I am and I am a creature of shade. Sweat less. Conserve water. Carry less sunscreen. Honestly, I don’t see how people aren’t carrying one.
- Sleeping bag. 20 degree bag of dreams and awesomeness. Maybe it’s the thought of being warm in my tent after a long day with my eyes closed. I love the thing.
- Tinted, polarized sunglasses. Makes everything look bad ass. Greens pop and highlights are neutralized. Idk I’m weird.
Least Favorite Gear (so far):
- Trekking poles. Have not relied on them like I thought I would. I think it promotes awkward posture and actually makes my knee feel worse.
- Swayer Mini Squeeze. Dude. Takes forever and a day. Might try to pick up a regular sized Swayer when I’m able.
- Silk bag liner. Kinda pointless, gets all tangled up (read: uncomfortable), and I find that light weight sleeping clothes work better for me. Plus said sleeping clothes can double as extra warmth layers when necessary. Boom.
Books read so far:
- Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Currently readings: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Clifbars (ranked in order of least disappointing)
- Banana Nut Bread
- Blueberry Crisp
- Sierra Trail Mix
And that’s all! Stay happy friends!