Feb 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm #1268881
Companion forum thread to:Feb 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm #1694277
@sschloss1Locale: New England
I swear I took a picture of the exact same field of lupines near Three Sisters in Oregon.Feb 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm #1694284
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
–B.G.–Feb 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm #1694315
@nicktruaxLocale: SW Montana
What more can I say but keep em coming.Feb 8, 2011 at 8:19 pm #1694328
Much more literate than most things here. Nuanced. Are you a professional writer? No need to answer. You are so by default. Understanding the foibles of pushing yourself very valuable. Reminds me of Jardine strung out with his wife on dicey footing. And the classic by Basho" The Narrow Road to the North"Feb 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm #1694336
Me too. That is what makes the wild and wilderness so fun. The company of others in God's creation. I can't tell you how big my grin was the entire time I read this newest installment. It sure supports the guys comments above. You ARE a professional writer. I had forgotten it was Tuesday. Now I'm completely aware (and can't wait for next Tuesday). Another epic installment Ryan.Feb 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm #1694347
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
A great adventure… well told.Feb 9, 2011 at 7:08 am #1694419
Thanks for sharing, I've really enjoyed reading these.Feb 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm #1694556
I've been a solo section hiker of the PCT for the last several years. It's very head-clearing, and it's become one of my absolute favorite things to do in the whole world! I really identified with a lot of the feelings and thoughts you've expressed and the lessons you've learned. It sounds like you beat yourself up trying to catch up to friends to recapture that earlier experience rather than just savoring the beauty of where you were at that moment.
After a couple of seasons, I started carrying a MP3 player too. Initially, I felt it seemed somehow "wrong" but I found it really helped propel me forward when I hit "the wall." It also took me out of negative thinking patterns, the occasional cranky mood, and the insipid jingles that would get stuck in my head from time to time. And the best part is that now when I hear some of the songs that I'd listened to on the trail, I can suddenly picture the view or section of the trail I was on.
Your photos really take me back there too. I had to bail due to fires at that same section in OR last summer. Great article!! Thanks.
Dys-feng shui-nal (trail name)Feb 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm #1694613
echoing the comments above – this is a great read!
> Wildfires were something foreign to me, their occurrence back home a rarity
> in the wet northeastern climate. But the few people I ran into near Mount Jefferson
> paid little attention to the clouds of smoke. They were just a part of the scenery, I guess.
You are probably guessing right. Most people I know would be disappointed but not surprised by a trail closed due to fire.
> A common replacement that I saw with dozens of people throughout the summer,
> however, was a multi-use piece of equipment that seems to be growing in popularity
> with long-distance hikers: the smart phone. Many people replaced their cell phones,
> MP3 players, cameras, and even guidebooks with iPhones or Droids,
> which meant less weight to carry and less bulk.
Less bulk, yes. What about reliability? one device is now the critical point of failure. Also, how do they deal with the low battery life? Carry spare batteries? Solar chargers?
Again, this is an excellent read. Thanks for the writeup.Feb 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm #1694713
@balrogLocale: New England
Your series is the best addition to this website I've ever hoped for.Feb 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm #1694756
@Maxine: "It also took me out of negative thinking patterns," that is exactly what it did for me, too. Very good point.
@Folec: The best thing I saw for helping battery life was something like this, although the dimensions listed on this one seem larger than some of the things I saw. Using the electronic devices infrequently and recharging them at every town stop was easy enough, though. It's amazing how easy it is to find an electrical outlet when you need one. As for reliability… I never saw one break, although I have heard stories.
@Everyone else: thanks again. I wasn't expecting this much feedback on the articles, and I'm very grateful for it.Feb 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm #1694802
I really enjoyed reading this account of your PCT thru hike. I thru hiked in 2009 and am about to hike the AT this year. So your comments about how you felt when people asked "which is better?" are very interesting to me. The way you describe how trails change but people that hike them are the same is really an insight I have found as well.
I also found the hype regarding Fuller Ridge, the Sierra, Hat Creek, etc. to be way overblown. Anyhow you have re-awakened the fire in me to hike the PCT again soon.
Thanks for sharing this.. you are an excellent writer!Feb 10, 2011 at 8:42 am #1694935
The mood of the piece captures the thru-hiking experience perfectly.Feb 10, 2011 at 10:16 am #1694973
I felt like I was back on the trail again. I well remember meeting up with you again at the CA/OR border and being amazed at how many miles you had already done that day. It's no wonder you didn't get up before dawn with the rest of us. Thanks for a great article Guthook. It is nice to hear about the rest of your hike.Feb 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm #1695209
Ryan, your words are taking me on a journey that I hope to walk some day as well. Beautifully done. Thanks for a fine piece.
PhilFeb 11, 2011 at 1:12 am #1695314
Marco A. SánchezMember
@marcoasnLocale: The fabulous Pyrenees
Upps! Wrong thread.
Sorry.Feb 11, 2011 at 6:10 am #1695346
Is there an index to these three stories? If not, why don't I see the other "parts" even mentioned in this write-up? Just seems a bit odd. Especially if someone were to come across the reports now. You'd never really know that there were two others in the series.Feb 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm #1695460
@redwood22Locale: Santa Cruz/Scott's Valley CA
Great write up! Thanks for the time! You've inspired me more to plan through hikes.Feb 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm #1695570
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Another great addition-Looking forward to the next installment.Feb 12, 2011 at 5:49 am #1695730
@legkohodLocale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
(preface: I hiked the PCT in 2009)
It's surprising how much preplanned meetups with friends/relatives along the way can destroy the fun of your adventure. I never would have guessed this before my thru-hike, but I found this to be the case for myself and nearly every other thru-hiker I knew who was meeting people along the way. Sometimes pushing to meet up with someone means abandoning hiking buddies for weeks as you ratchet up your pace by just a few miles a day. Then, you fall behind and spend weeks trying to catch up. When I do my next thru-hike, I will avoid making time commitments of this type.
I feel bad for the author about the constant blisters. Surely there must be a way to better deal with this problem? I only got one blister on the PCT. Maybe it depends on how much your feet sweat?
I enjoyed Ryan's discussion of solitude and the challenges it brings. You begin to understand very clearly your interdependence with other people.
Looking forward to the end of the tale.Feb 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm #1695968
I'm not the Webmaster! But….. just go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom left and you'll note the link "Features Archive". That'll get cha where you wanna go. I asked that question one time myself. -This article is but the tip of iceburg of quality resources available on BPL and why -M is worth every $$$. A trip index for archiving this story would be a great idea too.Feb 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm #1696008
Richard, you're very right about friends from off trail making life very difficult for through-hikers, but then again, I wouldn't have given that up for anything. For me, it's all part of the adventure. Breaking away from one group of friends on the trail gave me the opportunity to meet others that I wouldn't have met otherwise, which I think was important in the long run, even if it was sad in the short run.
As for the blisters… yeah, I still don't know for sure what the problem was. All I can say for sure is that the tread of the PCT is very different from the tread of eastern trails, and the problem seemed mostly unique to me. Different people react in different ways to different conditions. My best guess is the heat and the sand had something to do with the problem.
Index: that should be easy to add. I'll point it out to the webmaster also. Cheers!Feb 15, 2011 at 6:16 am #1696887
@einsteinxLocale: The Netherlands
What about carrying maps of the trail instead of guide books? I don't know if maps in the US have these trails indicated on them, but I would guess so. Getting the most recent copy and getting updates from the forestry people to me would seem a good base for a well guided hike. Then again, i never (really) hiked in the US, so I could be wrong.
As for iPod/Android do it all gadgets. How about making a PCT app that is a GPS guide, come town guide, come restaurant guide, come everything? Dinners, trail angels, accommodation along the way should be able to change their own data and forestry service can live update changes to trail sections. It would give you at the minute weather reports and by a touch of a button update your location on the trail, so your hiking buddies and people back home can see where you are.
Sure if your gizmo fails you lose all this gadgetry, but that was why you also put that map in your pack, wasn't it?
Any smart app programmers out there?
EinsFeb 16, 2011 at 4:44 am #1697298
Einstein, I think we'll see a lot of iphone/droid apps in the future that do just what you're saying. These guys already have something for the AT, but when you think of it, many apps for the iphone and droid are already great town guides– Yelp, Around Me, Google maps, etc… Geared toward people driving through towns, but it works the same if you're on foot.
As for the maps, I don't know much about the Forest Service maps for the PCT. In general, maps for different trails can vary in quality from outstanding to completely useless. I didn't see anyone using the Forest Service maps for the PCT, so I'm not really sure how well they work.
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