Tuesday, April 20, 2010

High mileage days

My two highest mileage days on the PCT had nothing to do with trying to get to pizza.

I hiked 35 miles one day simply by psyching myself into it. I decided that 30 miles was probably a psychological barrier so rather than think of the miles I was completing I decided to change my focus and think instead of chipping away at the miles remaining to the next town. Toward the very end of the day, I passed by a place I could have camped, and then I was stuck hiking for another hour through an area with absolutely nowhere to camp. Finally, just as the sun was setting, I reached the perfect campsite and my first 35 mile day.

I hiked 36 miles one day in Oregon. It was a relatively flat area of trail between Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood. I just kept hiking. I didn't feel like stopping. I finally only stopped because I needed the final waning minutes of light to kill any mosquitoes that might follow me into my tent. The next morning I hiked easily to Timberline Lodge where I stood on the balcony and looked in absolute amazement at Mt. Jefferson way in the distance, thinking to myself, I can't believe I walked all that distance in only two days. I knew not a single other person there would understand that feeling. It was one of the best moments of the hike for me.

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