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Monat: März 2019

The First Week on Trail

The First Week on Trail

109 Miles or in other words 175 km are done. The last week was an intense adventure filled with ups and downs.

Let’s start with getting to the trailhead from San Diego. My cold was killing me and I was just so exhausted before even getting to the start of it all. So this was it? This was the adventure I waited for so long and a stupid cold was going t\no take all the joy away from me? I told myself to suck it up and not let my adventure be ruined like that.

On the final bus ride from Ej Cajon to Campo I met some hikers. Little did I know some of them would still be around today.

Once we arrived at the Southern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail, I felt so eager to start this adventure. I was even ready to ignore my cough, my headache and simply the way I was feeling in general. I was ready.

So I started walking. My first steps on the Pacific Crest Trail. I couldn’t stop thinking about how weird it is, this trail would be my home for the next five to six month if everything goes according to my plan. Every step I took, I felt more confident. It started to feel really good. And then two miles into the hike I almost stepped on a snake. It was just hanging around on the trail and wasn’t bothered by us hikers. But holy shit I was bothered by that snake and almost ran back to the starting point of it all, ready to go home. Apart from that little heart attack I had myself, everyone else was dying of laughter. I have been trying to insert a picture if the snake, but for whatever reason I can’t get it to upload. The snake was not huge or dangerous or whatever. I just didn’t expect to encounter one of my fears so early on the trail.

As mentioned above I apparently still am with some hikers, to be exact I am hiking with two Canadians, Li and Gabriel. I promised myself before heading of to the trail that I would only ever hike with people that are in equal or close to equal physical shape, just so it would be easier for me to hike along with them. So here we go, Li is a freaking marathon runner and Gabriels legs are like two meters long. To sum it up, I don’t know how this could happen. But apparently it works. They push me take it a step further every day and for some odd reason I managed to stay with them up till today. It is just odd that it is working out this well for as long as it already has. Sooner or later I will be on my own though.

So apart from hiking we obviously don’t do much. We fell into the routine of hike sleep eat and repeat rather easily and managed to get our first 22 mile hike in yesterday.

The next section we are encountering feels like it may be tougher than the first one. I would love to tell you how this is all just amazing and beautiful, and don’t get me wrong it is. But adapting your body to such a routine, leaves pretty much everyone on this trail with some kind of pain. For me it’s my feet. I actually expected my legs in general or my messed up knees to give up first, but I have patches underneath my feet were I am loosing skin. And I can tell you one thing for sure hiking without skin underneath your feet isn’t exactly the definition of joy. But I have already seen feet, knees and sunburns much worth than mine.

And one thing is true, once you hike after some hours the pain is gone and everything just goes numb. Not in a bad way you are just able to push the pain aside and enjoy the beauty of everything that surrounds you. The views that are insanely gorgeous, strangers that become close friends within a few days, trail angels that provide water on the trail or a cold beer. Everyone is just so kind and so supportive. Looks don’t matter, it doesn’t matter that no one showered for a week. All that matters is that you enjoy yourself and what you are doing.

Tomorrow will be the first day of not hiking at all, a so called zero, because the weather is not exactly nice at the moment. It is cold and rainy. And my feet are looking forward to that. Today we did stop at a larger campsite and met a bunch of other hikers and we got the chance to take bucket shower and to wash our clothes in buckets. Me and two fellow hiker women decided to quickly turn the washroom into our laundry room. So if you ever thought it wouldn’t rain in Southern California, let me tell you it does.

Coming to an end for my first blog entry on trail I can say, no matter how far I make it on the trail, whether it will be the finish line or not. This is either way everything I could have asked for and I luckily already came to realize there is no such thing as giving up on this trail. It’s not about winning or failing, it’s about how far one can push it and stay feel comfortable.

The Last Days Before Finally Hitting The Trail

The Last Days Before Finally Hitting The Trail

Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for, for so long. It finally is about to happen. I cannot wait to stand next to the monument of the Southern Trail Terminus to get started.

I suppose this is also the point where I finally should feel prepared enough to be hitting the trail for real.

Well mentally I am ready. My body is not though. I left Germany with a cold, and I was more than certain it would long be gone before I am setting off to hit the trail. Played myself on that one, I don’t know how I ever thought sharing rooms with multiple people before setting off would help me to get better.

So here I am spending my final hours in my hostel bed in San Diego, waiting for a miracle to happen that will make me feel amazing once I wake up.

But either way tomorrow is the day and I am not gonna let a cold take that away from me. So it will be a slow start and I will be listening to my body closely to not push it too far.

My Final Days at Home

My Final Days at Home

Finally flying to Los Angeles sounds like the start of it all, and honestly it kinda also feels like that. But before this trip actually quite some organizing was done. And I do not mean planning every step I will take on the trail, but things that need to be considered far before doing so. Here are a few things I took care off far before leaving Germany.

Must Haves to be able to hike the trail for a distance over 500 miles:

  • PCT Long Distance Permit
  • B2 Tourist Visa
  • California Fire Permit (for using a gas cooking stove)
  • Canada Entry Permit

Well the above mentioned may allow you to actually hike the trail, but purchasing the proper gear is another major milestone. I took my time and considered every piece of gear over and over again. Here I am about to start my journey and do I feel like my gear is absolutely on point? Hell no! And I would also think that this is just a normal learning and adaption process I will undergo on the trail. Realizing what is really essential and important for this hike. So I suppose the content of my backpack will change drastically over time. And some final items I will just purchase upon arrival in the States.
Here is a picture of the gear I am starting out with.

Yes, it is true I really am taking a diary and a hot water bottle. You are probably thinking, that is so stupid. And you also may be completely right in assuming those items are not going to last long, fair enough. I will figure it out on my own and until I get sick of it, I will very gladly enjoy having warm feet at night.

Other random things to consider before getting on a plane:

  • Validation date of passport and credit cards
  • Taking care of vaccinations, some are a must for certain destinations
  • Purchasing a travel insurance
  • Figuring out where to put everything that is not going to fit into the bag one is carrying on the hike itself
  • Getting rid of a car and anything that won’t last without proper care taking

The Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail commonly known and referred to as the PCT is a long distance hiking trail in the United States of America. It is 2.659 miles long, so that is roughly about 4.280 km and therefore turns it into one of the longest continuous hiking routes in the world.

The trail starts in Campo right at the Mexican boarder and ends in Manning Park right passed the Canadian boarder.