From 2009-2014, I walked over 10,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. In those six years I witnessed it’s rise in popularity, felt the death of it’s innocence, and weighed the good with the bad. More People=More Protection. More People=More Toilet Paper and Less Wildlife. As I watch it become institutionalized and used for personal profit, I can’t help but feel worried. I catch myself beginning sentences with Back Then…
you could go days without seeing another hiker…
Meadow Mary gave you a massage…for a fee…but you didn’t know that until she was done.
With advances in technology thru-hiking is more convenient, and with that comes an influx of people who don’t know a lick about wilderness ethics. So please babes, tread lightly and practice Leave No Trace.
When you’ve hiked the Pacific Crest Trail a lot and people know that, they expect you to be
1. Omniscient about all things PCT (but only on trail, not in online discussion forums)
“How many miles to yadda yadda?”
“Can I get fiesta chili shrimp ramen at this store?”
“What’s the elevation, latitude and longitude of Sheep Lake?”
I’ll try and answer your questions to the best of my knowledge, but I’m not always right. This year I was given the pseudo trail name “Not a Clue;” which testifies to my foggy knowledge. Come on! It’s a long trail! It’s like 2,600 something miles…658?
2. Impervious to everything
I get tired, I get giardia, sometimes I even get a blister.
I fuck up. Sometimes I don’t pack enough food or water. Sometimes I walk down the wrong trail. Sometimes I do really stupid things like drink my alcohol stove fuel.
I never claim to be fast but I get taunted anyway:
“Thought I’d never see you again!” and “I thought you’d be in Canada already” and “So and so is faster than you!”
5. Friends with Cheryl Strayed
I don’t know Cheryl, she hiked in the 90’s. I was watching Nickelodeon and reading Goosebumps in the 90’s.