Monday, May 19, 2014

PCT Hike 2014 Starts Tomorrow

For the past few months I've been simultaneously planning for this past Saturday's Almanzo 100 bike ride and also for hiking 1000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail in California.

The bike ride went great (see previous post) and suddenly tomorrow is when I fly one-way to San Diego to begin the hike. I'd never purchased a one-way airplane ticket before and will rely on bus service to get me back to Denver from wherever and whenever I end up. From San Diego I'll ride the train to Los Angeles, a bus to Santa Clarita, and then a local shuttle van to Agua Dulce where I'll join the trail.

If I didn't admit a slight apprehension with the hike I wouldn't be being completely honest. Will I need a compass? How much food will I need each day? Will I be able to find enough water to keep properly hydrated? How hot is it going to be in southern California? How many detours will there be due to forest fires? Will I have to hike through snow in the Sierras? Should I have boxed up those crampons and mailed them to myself at Kennedy Meadows in Yosemite? Will I gel with any of the thru-hikers who are hiking the entire trail that I've been following online or will they look askance at me because I'm only doing 1000 miles?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not freaking out or anything. But this is just a partial list of questions that I'm sure virtually everyone has upon embarking on such an endeavor. Many have gone before me and I'm grateful to have been able to learn from them. There was apprehension before the bike ride, too, and it went swimmingly.

Here's my gear...

I'll be carrying about 15 pounds before food and water. Food will weigh about 2 pounds per day and I'll be carrying 4-7 days worth upon refill. Water weighs 8 lbs. per gallon and I'll be carrying around 7 liters and allowing you to do the math on that. I've learned a lot about being smarter with pack weight and have upgraded most of my gear (especially tent & backpack) in the past year. But I'm still not a super ultralight guru that cares to focus too much on that stuff. But ask me again after a few days on the trail and I could very well be dying to drop weight. We shall see.

I'll try to update this blog during the hike.


samh said...

Get 'er!

--cl said...

Best of luck! We'll be following along.