Sunday, February 27, 2011

Up and Blogging

Welcome to my Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) blog!  I don't have an exact plan of what I will be blogging about, but hopefully it will entertain a few of you, or at least let you know that I am still alive and walking.  I probably won't have internet access all that often so updates may be every week or two, or more frequently, depending on internet/cell coverage.

The name of the blog is borrowed from a Bertrand Russell quote, "Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery."  From everything I have heard about the PCT it is a trail of extremes. High/low, good/bad, hot/cold, dry/wet, love/hate, pain/elation, and on and on.  I wouldn't be completely honest with you or myself if I said I was looking forward to 100+ degree weather during the day, camping in near-freezing temperatures at night, and carefully controlling how much I eat one day so I can have enough to make it through the next three, all the while carrying my life on my back.  Don't get me wrong, I am definitely excited about the trip, but I like to think I have realistic expectations that I won't be walking on sunshine the entire time (just most of the time).

For my purposes the Pacific Crest Trail begins near Campo, CA at the Mexican border and meanders North approximately 2650 miles through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain one could hope to see, before ending at the Canadian border just 8 miles south of Manning Provincial Park (135 miles East of Vancouver, BC).  My planned start date for this grand adventure is April 29th, 2011.  What may be surprising to some (not as much to others) is that my employer, the Forest Service, has agreed to grant me a leave of absence and let me come back to work when I am done!  You may be asking yourself, "won't hiking through multiple National Forests and Parks be like you are at work anyway?" And the short and simple answer to that is "no."  If you know of a job where you get to hike 20 miles a day through mostly all of spring and summer, please let me know!

The fun part for now is that I am actually trying to GAIN weight so I have some extra mass (relative term) to lose once I hit the trail. So far I am up about 5 pounds to 140, but am aiming to get to 145 in the next couple months.  It may not seem like it would be hard to do, but I refuse to give up running until the hike begins.  At this point the majority of my planning has been done.  I believe I have all the gear I will need for my trek, as well as a general itinerary of where I will be at certain times, and how I will be resupplying (buying food) while on the trail.  Hmm, sounds like that's what I will include in the next post!