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Tag Archives: wired
Hey there. the clock is slowly ticking down to June 15, and by slowly I mean FAR TOO SLOW. I’m ready to do this, but I must wait for snow to melt in Glacier Nat’l Park. I put out a few feelers on the Facebook page for 2013 CDT hikers and it looks like there will be a few people starting their thru-hike just before or after me, so I won’t be terribly alone on the trail, although there are two different starting points, but they quickly merge to one.
The last few weeks have been possitive for the hike. Today I crossed the $2000 mark, and Someone donated $1000 to my fundraising site ! (AMAZING !!!) just $1000 to go to hit my official goal. After a concerning night, a few weeks back, in my tent with far too much condensation that left my new down bag wet at the head and foot, My friend Michael purchased a new Big Agnes tent for me, in fact it’s a tent i struggled with buying last year when ants ate holes in my tent, I wanted to upgrade to a double wall free standing, but decided to stick with the comfort of the tent I had, at half the price. I’m so very excited to use it! More on that tent and why later…
With what I raised and what I’ve saved I’m on good track to keep my hike moving, I just can’t have any unexpected expenses. Since I have my 6 pair of Montrail shoes already purchased (remember, I bought $115 shoes for $50 through a friends and family discount) so they need to work out well.
I was contacted by a wonderful man who hiked the AT in 1975. He provides trail magic and assistance at the Dinsmore’s Hiker Haven, who happen to be the last Train Angels on the PCT. They’re working together to get me Sqincher electrolite drink mixes on the CDT. A few people have offered to send me food supplies, but those are all packed and ready to send. Most of the food is dreary and boring though, so I’ve sent out my resupply lists and Rory (my resupply guy) will let everyone know where I’ll be and when (if I can’t) so little surprises can pop up when I least expect it. My goal will be to get in and out of towns w/little spending and temptation, so if I find an extra box of goodies at the Post Office, I’ll be able to fend off cravings at the supermarket…. or so I tell myself.
I left my job in industrial paint/prep Friday, the guys I worked with seem to want me back, even though I only worked there two months. I work very hard so it’s nice it’s recognized. Dan, who runs the paint shop, even drew me a map to follow. It starts and ends at work, and although I tell him I won’t be back until the end of Nov at the earliest, he wants me back for the busy season…. I like the little lake and mountain’s he included on the map. Funny good times.
For the first time ever, I’ve been folowing other’s blogs as they hike North on the CDT (NoBo = north bound). Wired is one to watch (click here to find her blog). She hiked the PCT in 2011 and is EXCELLENT at blogging and explaining. Her photos are amazing and I can’t wait to visit the spots I’ve seen her post about. I was able to offer up my first trail magic for her as well, by buying a piece of pie for her at the Pie-O-Neer in Pie Town, NM… the staff was happy to oblige my request of looking out for her arrival … Also, I’m followingHighlife (Click here to find his blog), who seems to have service everywhere on the CDT so he’s posting a lot on Facebook…
Next week I head back to see my family for a week. Other than the short two days in San Diego in April of 2012 when they saw me off on the PCT, I haven’t spent time with them in a year and a half. It will be good to see them, tell them all about the PCT, all about the CDT plans, and then head back to Portland to start climbing the mountains of the Columbia River Gorge, training for the mountains of Glacier Nat’l Park.
I’m going to try to weigh my gear and get a full gear list together. I didn’t end up doing this on the PCT because I had so much extra silly stuff that I didn’t want to know, or more so, I didn’t want YOU to know how heavy my pack was… I bought a gram scale to be technical, I’ll try to do that before I head out.
Thanks again for all of the support, and for regular updates, you’re better off following my Facebook page… facebook.com/hiking26.
72 hours ago myself and fellow PCT’ers Chief, Cookie, Gourmet, Salt Monster, Voices, and Scalpel fell asleep on the beach of beautiful Silverwood Lake, part of a State Park in Southern California. The beach, not far from the swath of land that flanks the PCT therefore making it Federal Land for thru-hikers to use, was a comfortable and peaceful resting place for us all, because I asked. I’m pretty much a rule follower, and since the area was marked for day use, I wasn’t going to camp there w/o permission. The campground was a few miles away and that might as well be a 100 miles away to a weary thru-hiker, so I set out looking for a ranger to get the skinny on where we needed to be, or if I would leave my buddies behind for the piece of mind in knowing someone wouldn’t shine a light at my tent at 9 o’clock telling me I needed to pack up and move on.
A mile or so down the winding pavement I came to the park entrance where I stood in an open doorway for what seemed an eternity waiting to be acknowledged. Eventually a young man made eye contact and stepped outside as I explained that I was with a group of PCT hikers, where we came to rest in the park, and asked where we needed to be to set up our tents. Before I finished speaking I had already noticed his eyes judging my dirty crusty appearance. “Site 13, it’s down that road there, $5 per person” he said.
As I attempted to gain some sympathy, explaining again where we were, and that after so many miles hiking, we would like to be as close to where we’d come off the trail as possible, He pulled out a map, and showed me where site 13 was… no where near our present trailside location. Thankfully, someone in charge stepped in and asked if I was a PCT hiker, and immediately said “it’s free. You have 100′ easment on each side of the PCT which is Federal Land and thru hikers get to sleep there for free…. Do you guys know about the PCT ???” Still, eyes watched me like I was a vagrant, and not someone who is attempting to pull off the somewhat incredible feat of walking 2600+ Miles.
I suppose my offense in all of this comes from the employees that were giving me these looks. They’re working at a State Park. So call me stupid, but aren’t we all, the park rangers and thru-hikers, supposed to be one in our love of nature ? Or am I ignorant in expecting that I might get some respect for what I’m doing, just as I should respect them for their position as a Park Ranger? Whatever the answer is, something good came from this, a group of (what I assume to be) new park employees learned about the PCT and it’s role in the park that they work for.
Fast Forward… or hike slowly on… to Mc Donalds @ Cajon Pass, 13 long hot miles from that beach we were curled up on, sleeping under the stars and an amazingly bright moon. Admittedly I was something to stare at as I walked in the joint with my dress on, but once again (even after the dress came off) eyes followed and sneers grew across faces as our sweaty, dirty selves hobbled up to the counter to order anything other than the dehydrated packages of what was stashed away in our packs. (Double Quarter Pounder w/Cheese, large size value meal and a large Chocolate shake for me (Ordered TWICE over 3 hrs))… Inquisitively, a man walked up to the table, explained that he was a substitute teacher who knew we were hiking a long trail, but couldn’t remember the name. It was such a pleasure to respond The Pacific Crest Trail. He smiled, wished us luck, and was on his way. Once again the self pride in what I’m doing was restored.
We don’t hike the PCT for acknowledgement, we do it for all sorts of reasons. I for one just wanted to do it, thought it would be cool. As this project evolved, I began realizing many things about myself that I’d like to work on – there’s something interesting about knowing you’re leaving your life behind for six months and having NO idea where you’ll end up mentally, physically, or emotionally. As the hike grew near I was far more aware of what I hoped I might change about myself, and as I hike I grow far more aware of what’s going on in the rest of the world that I don’t care for. But who am I? Just little ol’ me with issues. So lets make a deal world – I won’t judge you without first inquiring within, and you don’t judge me without doing the same…
If only it were that simple. Life is just as complicated as I am.
At Kick Off, one of the organizers approached me, shook my hand and complimented me on what I am doing. He thought it was great even though several others said that I was just doing it to get attention. – It was difficult to accept the honor of being thanked without letting the ‘attention’ comment get in the way. But attention seeking I was, but only to get the money to hike the PCT… Did they ask why I was doing it? or just judge me because it’s so much easier to judge that which we don’t understand.
So as this post drags on I’m going to work something out, and work it out publicly. Sometimes getting it out of my head is the only way to move forward. For some time, during the planning process of my hike, a delightful friend, section hiker, and provider of trail magic shared with me information of a 2011 PCT hiker named Wired. What gear she used, the amount of rainy days she encountered, etc. Most often, as my faulty memory serves me, these offerings began with “Did you see on Wired’s Blog….”
I didn’t read her blog. I think I pulled it up once. My little world is so complicated sometimes that I dont’ have time or the power to focus on others lives. I was too busy trying to figure out what a 6’4″ , 200 lb Man might need for the PCT, while hiking in wedding gowns, and in turn, how the hell was I gonna make that work as well? One last hike with my friend prior to the PCT was led with “Did you see Wired posted you on her blog as one to watch?” -huh!?
So days after I began my journey, I received an email from the one, the only, Wired.
You don’t know me, but I’m Wired from PCT Class of 2011. I know how overwhelming all this can be (since my blog was highly followed last year) so I’ll keep it short. I reluctantly listed you as one to watch this season and I’m now glad I did. I appreciate your art and what you’re trying to do, but I am always hesitant of prospective hikers who could be disingenuous and using the trail to profit. Your more recent posts are honest and sincere and show that you are not out there to just take from the trail…but to enhance it and appreciate it for the amazing journey it is. I can totally relate to how you feel and I have to commend you for your honesty. It is your hike and people will understand! Good luck!
Well I just checked the clock. I’ve hesitantly written and re-written this post, and in one hour, it will be one month since I received your email, 320 some-odd miles I’ve hiked, and one month that I’ve stewed over it, re-read it, shared it, pondered it, over-thought it, and contemplated what I would do about it…. and the answer came as I let them get to me… all of the people who judge the dirt on a thru-hiker for what it looks like instead of what it is – often something they can’t comprehend or imagine, but actually IS genuine and good and amazing, and yes, a little bit off the wall crazy.
So Wired, I thank you for your honesty, your compliments, your sincerity. You’re a rock star amongst PCT hikers. But I’ve been here, an Email away, the entire time you felt I might be “disingenuously using the PCT for my own profit”. I would have welcomed a simple question that might have bridged the gap between being judged, and enlightenment. Maybe some day we can walk a trail with our mutual friend, talk about the PCT and teach each other a thing or two, and share a good laugh which is welcome in all walks of life.