PCT Map

A lot of people have been asking to see a map of my trek, so I decided to post this photo which is a great overview and has been one of my biggest references during the planning stages! Since I am going SOBO, remember I’ll be reading this backwards and the milage will be opposite!

PCT-Overview-2015.png

For an enlarged version, click here.

In other news, I leave in one week and nerves are getting SO REAL. AHHHHHHHH!

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The Beginning of Goodbye.

The other night I had my farewell party where I got to see most of my friends and family for the last time before I leave! I thought it was going to be an emotional night but it STILL hasn’t set in that I’m leaving!! Sorry guys!!!

I set up an advice jar and received some hard hitting tips such as “lol don’t fall” and “be good don’t meet too many boys”. My friends also surprised me with this MASTERPIECE of a cake, which we were all too scared to cut into until the next day.

Check out Blowtorch Bakery for more incredibly talents cakes! 

I just wanted to say thank you SO much to everyone who came out again! It means so much to me and I am so happy I got to spend time with the people I love before I leave. I am thankful for your love and kind words and will be thinking of you all during my trip! Your supports means the world. Thanks again! ❤

 

Goals on the PCT

1. Find Bigfoot.

2. Learn to communicate with animals through their preferred language.

3. To either not lose a toenail or lose a toenail, I don’t know which one.

4. Learn how to tell time using the sun and the moon.

5. Keep record of the number of Snicker bars I get to indulge in.

6. To return home with at least enough money for a full body massage.

7. To hate the trail so much that I want to quit it, and then suddenly somehow fall in love with it all over.

8. Figure out what to do post-PCT.

Why am I hiking the PCT?

Why are you hiking the PCT? The dreaded question. Inevitably, the first thing people ask when I tell people about my upcoming journey, and yet I seem to always have to prepare myself to answer it over and over.
Have you seen the movie Wild? Yes. Its not the same. I read the book and watched the movie and even saw Cheryl Strayed at a talk, but seriously don’t talk to any PCT hiker about Wild lol

I have talked a bit about this before, but here is a simple list of why I’m hiking the PCT:

  • nature
  • mountains
  • waterfalls
  • wilderness
  • to escape the materialistic, corporate world we live in
  • challenge
  • adventure
  • trail magic
  • timing
  • to re-appreciate the little things
  • to hate it so much I love it
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Washington
  • to find selfless kindness through both myself and others
  • mountains
  • nature
  • backpacking
  • to be completely free
  • seclusion
  • to meet inspiring and motivating people
  • Yosemite
  • wild flowers
  • trails angels
  • the experience
  • nature
  • mountains
  • to do something new and crazy and to say I did it on my own
  • to look back and want to do it all over again

To me, “Why are you hiking the PCT?” seems like a stupid question, and despite all these answers, there has still been a lot of negativity towards whatever I end up telling people.

A better question in my opinion is why AREN’T you hiking the PCT? I can guarantee your answers are not as as validating as mine.

PCT Talk

Often when I am speaking to people about my trip, I throw around some terms that I forget are hiker slang. Here is a little reference for those who don’t know.

 

blazes:  Markings that direct you along the trail. This is what the PCT blazes look like.

bounce box: A resupply strategy. Hikers will fill a box with food, gear, etc. and send it to their next destination point. When they arrive, they will use the items in the box, restock it, send it to their next point, and start the cycle over. This allows a hiker to carry only what they need on the trail.

cache:  A hidden supply of food or water (or potentially other gear). The PCT is known for its water caches in Southern California, which are stocked by volunteers.

gaiters: Outerwear that zips or snaps around ankles (and lower legs) that is used to keep water, snow, dust, dirt, or rocks out of the shoes. DirtyGirl gaiters are almost the only way to go.

gear head:  A hiker who is really into his or her gear, gear in general, knowing about gear, and talking about gear – often to a point of social detriment.

hiker box:  A box found at hostels, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, convenient stores, etc. where hikers donate unwanted food, gear, and equipment for the hikers following behind them. Hikers can pick and chose what they need at each hiker box.

hiker hunger: A very strong empty feeling in your stomach that comes from eating 3000-4000 calories per day, but burning 6000 calories. Hiker hunger results in indulging in almost any mixture or creation of foods, despite the taste.

hiker trash:  Both a derogatory and loving term for long distance and thru-hikers. People say it comes from the fact that thru-hikers often are confused for homeless people when they are at town stops.

HYOH = Hike Your Own Hike: The philosophy that there are many right ways to hike a trail and we don’t all have to do it the same way. Do what makes the most sense for you and create your own experience, despite anyone else.

LNT or Leave No Trace: Leave no trace means exactly what it sounds. It promotes education, use of the outdoors, preservation, awareness, appreciation and respect towards out environment. Take only photos and leave only footprints! Read more about LNT here.

mail drop: A method of re-supplying. Hikers often prepare themselves with boxes to send to mail drops along the trail. Each box is filled with food and gear they will need at each stop. This prevents them from having to spend more money on the trail and having to go buy food. There are many mail drops along the way in each town on or near the trail.

nero day:  A short mileage day of hiking. A near zero day.

NOBO or Northbounder: A thru-hiker that hikes north.

PCT:  Pacific Crest Trail.

privy:  An outhouse in the woods.

resupply strategy: A way to replenishing yourself with necessities such as food, gear, and toiletries. Resupply strategies include on trail, bounce box, and mail drops.

section hiker:  A person who is doing a long section of a hiking trail.

SOBO or Southbound: A thru-hiker that hikes south.

switchback: A 180 degrees turn in direction on the trail. These are usually found on mountain ascents and descents.

thru-hiker:  a person who is attempting to hike the entire length of trail in one attempt.

trail angel:  Someone who provides unexpected help, transportation, lodging, or food to a hiker.

trail magic: Unexpected, wonderful help along the trail. Often involving kindness and food.

trail name: A name that is given to someone while hiking, often through a mistake or fuck up you may have made. Often people on the trail only use their trail name to identify themselves.

zero day: A day when no miles are hiked. This is usually a day spent in town running errands, doing laundry, resupplying, eating, sleeping or just a day to relax on the trail.