It is now less than 90 days before I start my Pacific Crest Trail 2650 mile hike on 03/21, my second attempt. I decided that this go round I should be in better shape than I was last year, and that the best way to do this would be to get out and hike. Duh! With a heavy pack. I thought that it would be best to have some variation day to day as I train since that is what you experience on the PCT. So… my plan is to try to hike at least one new trail each day between now and the time I head to California.
Yesterday was day 1 of the new training regime – I planned to start small and work my way up in terms of mileage and difficulty, the last thing I want to do is get an injury during training that ruins my chances of hiking the PCT. So, I found a short trail on alltrails.com that supposedly leads to a spring – a measly 1.3 mile trail, well off the beaten path. I left early in light rain and heavy fog, about 40 degrees F, and set off to find the trail head. I was where both Alltrails.com and Google said I should be… but there was no trail head, no trail, no signs, no blazes, nothing. I walked up and down the road ¼ mile each way to no avail. I decided I would bushwhack off the road some distance and see if I could pick up the trail somewhere. No such luck. I enjoyed it though, it was beautiful, and a little challenging, but I did want to see the spring. Also it was an opportunity to navigate without a compass or electronics or maps, and not get lost. I finally did come across a closed area called Camp Willow and I poked around there a bit before making my way back to the SUV. Sadly one photo is of the last kind of trail trash I expected to see out in the wilderness – a computer monitor of all things, probably a stolen one.
Day 2 was a short trail close to me in a conservation area – I decided to push it hard, which for me is about 3.5 miles an hour – and see how my backpack setup is working out, and test my new Keen insulated boots out. I am choosing to carry more weight during training than I will actually carry on the PCT in hopes that it makes the PCT a tad easier. Again today it was a light rain, very heavy fog in many places, and in the low 40’s – an enjoyable first couple of hikes
The next couple of days it may get down below freezing and I may not care to try driving on the roads – but I can still train on the treadmill on full incline, and we have ten acres on a hill which is decent enough for training if need be. One of my plans for the coming weeks is to head a bit further away to this or that state park, camp in the campground but use that as a base to hike every trail that the park may offer.
Stay tuned for updates.