For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood.
–The Pale Blue Dot, Carl Sagan
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,663 mile long footpath from Mexico to Canada. To walk the entire trail, one would travel through California, Oregon, and Washington, 24 national forests, 7 national parks, high peaks with 60 mountain passes, the Mojave and Sonora deserts, and 19 major canyons. Hikers who walk from Mexico straight through to Canada, or the reverse, in one go are called thru-hikers, and it will take them an average of five months. According to the PCT Association, 500-800 people attempt a thru-hike each year and about 60% reach their goal. Any long distance hike requires researching and testing gear, planning resupply points, mailing resupply packages, checking weather and water resource reports, and physical conditioning.
As a full-time musician and teacher, I’m lucky enough to have the flexibility of time off in the summer. Since I did’t want to take too much time off from the school year, I section hiked Southern California between August, 2013 and May, 2014. Then from June to August of 2014, I hiked about 1,118 miles from central California to Ashland, Oregon. During the Summer of 2015, I finished hiking the Oregon and Washington sections of the PCT in another big hike. This hiking plan makes me technically a section hiker, although there has been a new term coined for those section hikers who complete the entire 2,663 miles: multi-year thru-hiker or MYTH.
Along my journey, I chronicled my experiences with pictures, trail thoughts, and after thoughts in my PCT Journal section. Links to mentioned websites, places, or items will be at the bottom of each journal post. Check out the side bar for information on my gear, food, health and safety. I welcome all feedback!
As of January of 2016, I have logged about 3,015 miles along the PCT, which includes parts of Southern & Northern California that I’ve hiked twice, and a Mount Whitney summit. There are a few miles I skipped due to fire closures and hope to hike someday in the future.