Tuesday, April 15, 2008

May 1 to Aug 25

I plotted my PCT schedule on a calendar. If I go 15 miles a day on average I should complete my journey on August 25. That's almost 4 full months. Wow. My longest hike has only been 5 days. 10 days if you count the time I walked to Mexico, but that wasn't a backpack trip.

My fear is that I'll average much more than 15 miles a day and complete too soon. It seems like the weather is finally getting good in August. I don't want to end in July and miss out on finally not being lunch meat for mosquitos. Plus this is a trip of a lifetime and I don't want it over too quick. We'll see what really happens.

Normally, even at my most fit, hiking 16 miles is about my limit before my feet hurt too much and I'm hobbling. I can't imagine myself hiking 20 miles a day with a full 30lb backpack, although when I do my training hikes and realize I can do 8 miles in just a few hours, it really isn't that far-fetched.

Yes, 30lb. With food for a week and water for the day, 30lb is what it weighs. I'll probably need even more water than that on the PCT since there are numerous times when you go more than 20 miles without access to water. It's not so bad.

Today's training hike was Cold Spring Trail. It is an unrelenting uphill climb but 2/3 of the way up the incline seems to be pretty gentle. The trail is really rocky. Like walking on 4-inch ball bearings. Your toe seems to hook on every rock pulling it under your foot to trip on. But other than that, it was a lovely day. Cool and comfortable. I felt strong and powerful.

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