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Thru hikers...I bow down.


TollerMom
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I was hiking with some trail guides from the Tahoe Rim Trail on a small part of the PCT last Monday. We started at Barker Pass and hiked up to where the TRT splits off from the PCT. during the course of the hike, we passed several thru hikers. Some going south, others headed north.

Let me just say that after reading Wild and Becoming Odyssa, I was super excited and in awe of these incredible humans.

The first two hikers were a couple of brown skinned, taut legged gents who started at Belden, CA near the Feather River. One was hiking 200 miles with his destination being Echo Summit. His trail name was Foggy Eyed (because he had fallen three times already). His companion had planned to hike 747 miles to Tehachapi but was rethinking that due to hot temps and little to no water available south on the trail.

The second two hikers were ladies older than I who were headed north for a total distance of 180 miles over a three week period, I think they said. Their packs were weighing in at about 30 pounds sans cooking equipment they left behind for this stretch of the trip.

The last hiker I saw was a young woman, wearing a pack of 45 pounds because she had just resupplied. She was headed north, having started at Yosemite to end at the Oregon-Washington border. I wonder if I would have the mental fortitude to hike alone, to continue putting one foot in front of the other without a buddy to encourage me when fatigue set in.

I was fascinated by these incredible people. I tried to take in every detail about them and their gear. It was undeniably the highlight of the hike.

B

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree, its not just days they are out there but weeks at a time, with just your pack and the elements. Fascinating stuff. I am always reading books on thru-hikes, maybe trying to live vicariously through them!

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I'm reading one now called Three Hundred Zeroes. This is an older guy on the AT. On a side note, for those who have been waiting to read Disco's " I Hike" electronically, it's coming out on Kindle soon--so says his post on FB.

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I highly recommend Lief Carlsen's Gang of One. He self publishes it (you can find it on Amazon and elsewhere) and really gives you a sense of the day to day life on the trail.

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  • 2 years later...

Wow, this was written in 2012? 

Well.. new or old.. I definitely agree that thru-hikers of the PCT are no joke. If you can do the entire 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada..you can do anything in life. It shows true heart and courage to face any challenge in life. 

Although I don't intend to ever hike the entire trail, i do intend to one day take on the PCT from (around) Bridgeport to the Oregon boarder. That in itself would be an accomplishment I can be proud of. All of my current wilderness training goes specifically towards this goal. Many many baby steps till I get there..but i will get there eventually :)

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  • 3 months later...
On 8/1/2015, 5:17:08, DeadLeaf said:

Well.. new or old.. I definitely agree that thru-hikers of the PCT are no joke. If you can do the entire 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada..you can do anything in life. It shows true heart and courage to face any challenge in life. 

Although I don't intend to ever hike the entire trail, i do intend to one day take on the PCT from (around) Bridgeport to the Oregon boarder. That in itself would be an accomplishment I can be proud of. All of my current wilderness training goes specifically towards this goal. Many many baby steps till I get there..but i will get there eventually :)

I've told that story to my employer. He still refused to give me  the raise I asked for 

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  • 1 month later...

Very cool I will be doing a through Hike of the PCT later on in life. For now I have to wait for my kid to get older, my first adventure first then my second one on the PCT.

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  • 2 months later...

I live about 40 minutes by truck from the  PCT and spend a lot of time on it.  Lately the woods seem crowded. Near my house the through hikers come by in July.  In September I was hiking in Oregon near Bend and the only people we met were through hikers.

Most of them are really on a long series of 5-7 day trips. They seem remarkably similar in their habits, eating lots of bars, Top Ramen and a little dehydrated food.  Then they gorge on food in town and re-supply. It is a Spartan existence with little appeal.  Fortunately people that live on the trail are mostly cheerful and good natured.

I had an outdoor career and always revelled in coming home after a week or 10 days in the bush to a nice girl, a shower, and a soft bed. Backpacking to me is an intense experience best enjoyed in short bursts of 3-5 days. After that there is a certain drudgery involved. I have been spoiled maybe by a lot of longer trips in rafts, canoes and horse and mule trips. We always eat well and have some furniture. There are actually fewer people around than on the PCT.  I am going to focus on some more out of the way places for backpacking this year. I do not envy anyone on really long trips at all.  Just one man's opinion.

Edited by ppine
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