Pacific Crest Trail

April 23, 2011-September 25, 2011

The 32 blog entries in-between these
dates are updates from the trail.
Pictures from my trip can be found on
my Flickr photostream.

 

ABOUT THE TRAIL:

Zigzagging its way from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) boasts the greatest elevation changes of any of America’s National Scenic Trails, allowing it to pass through six out of seven of North America’s ecozones including high and low desert, old-growth forest and arctic-alpine country. Indeed, the PCT is a trail of diversity and extremes. From scorching desert valleys in Southern California to rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, the PCT offers hikers and equestrians a unique, varied experience.

 

 

FUN FACTS:

  • Official trail length is 2,650 miles long
  • Passes through 3 states
  • Climbs nearly 60 major mountain passes
  • Descends into 19 major canyons
  • Ambles past more than 1,000 lakes and tarns

THE PCT ALSO TRAVERSES:

  • 3 national monuments
  • 7 national parks
  • 24 national forests
  • 33 federally mandated wildernesses

ALSO:

  • Fewer people have thru-hiked the PCT, than have climbed Mt. Everest
  • The trail doesn’t actually end at the Canadian border, but rather continues another 9 miles into Manning Provincial Park, BC
  • The PCT crosses the San Andreas fault 3 times
  • A bird flying from Mexico to Canada would travel just over 1,000 in a straight shot. The PCT is two and a half times that long
  • The PCT passes the 3 deepest lakes in the nation: Lake Tahoe (1,645 feet), Crater Lake (1,932 feet), and Lake Chelan (1,149 feet)

WHY I DID IT:

Why have I decided to leave home and venture onto a seemingly endless journey? At the age of 14 I hiked a small portion of the trail in the North Cascades and the tales of a thru-hike always left me intrigued. For a long time, it seemed out of reach like the other dreams that dominate my thoughts, but I finally feel it is not an unreasonable goal. My craving for adventure makes me long for the opportunity to enjoy nature’s infinite benefits and beauty.

My passion for just the thought of embarking on a long distance hike like the Pacific Crest Trail is so strong, I can’t imagine not doing it. I have a fascination with nature that makes the hair on my neck stand on end and sends shivers through my spine. The sense of isolation and loneliness in the wilderness, scares me in a strange way that I thrive on. It excites me not knowing what will be around the next twist in the trail, over the next grueling mountain pass, or across the next river ford.

Backpacking takes me back to my Boy Scout days and allows me to exercise the skills I learned. Only now can I say that although I thoroughly enjoyed hiking back then, I appreciate it even more now. I’m still young. I still have two perfectly functioning legs. I love the mountains, the trees, the rocks, and the sky. I must explore the backcountry of the country that I love so much. Especially if that trail brings me through my what is basically my backyard, here in the Pacific Northwest.

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
 -John Muir

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