Wow, I cannot beleive that it has been almost a year since I first stepped foot on the PCT, and began my thru-hike. Some days I can’t believe I did that, and others I feel like it was such a natural part of me and my life, that, it really doesn’t surprise me. But when I think back to this time last year, I remember being pretty nervous, and anxious, and very busy getting myself ready. I don’t remember ever having a still moment once I fully decided to do this thing (which, was over a year ago, now, Jan. 1st). I was busy researching gear and food, purchasing large amounts of food in bulk, over the internet, and trying to figure out how the hell to pack it all up, and have enough for each segment. Now, it seems like a no-brainer and something I could do in a quarter of the time. I was also out there hiking a lot with my backpacks and weight, getting my feet used to the impact. I remember carrying weight in both Go-Lite and Gossamer Gear bags, and feeling so tired and sore, and thinking ‘how am I ever going to do this…every day, 20 miles a day…. Then I got my Osprey Exos bag from Joan Taylor (thank you again!) and it was SO much better. Yes, it weighed about a pound and a half more than those other bags, but it was so much more comfortable for me. Hiking suddenly became much more fun, and comfy. I wasnt focused on the feeling of my bag. Thank goodness!
Anyways, I guess I am just thinking about all that went into this thing, as people are getting ready for their hikes this year. I am seeing a good amount of folks in the store I work in, gearing up for the trek, and I get to share my thoughts and opinions with them. I am also fondly looking at this year’s trail journals and commisserating with the folks who are getting ready. I would love to help anyone with their planning if you would like to contact me. Its so much fun to talk about what I did on the trail with others. I have to remember to hold back though, and not spill all my experiences and thoughts with them, because I want them to see it and feel it for themselves. You can and should only do so much BEFORE the trail. The rest will come to you, and you will figure out quickly what is going to work for YOU and what you should change. That is half the fun, anyways 🙂
Good luck to the 2014 PCT hikers. It will be one of the best things you have ever done!