Since completing my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014 the PCT has ranked highly on my to-do list. I spent the remainder of that year hiking the Camino de Santiago, bouncing around Turkey and Egypt and riding a bicycle along the Southern Tier. I returned to college in 2015 and have spent each subsequent summer revisiting lengthy stretches of the AT. I wanted to switch things up this year. Originally, I had intended to spend this summer finishing the Camino and tackling Sweden’s 500-mile-long Kungsleden. After evaluating other options, I determined that this summer might be a good time to get a start on the PCT. With three months of vacation between the spring and fall semesters, I should have enough time to walk from the US/Mexico border to the trail’s midpoint near Chester, CA. If I can avoid injury and exceed my conservative pace, I’d like to extend the trip to the CA/OR border; a total distance of 1,700 miles. The plan is to finish the remaining 1,000 miles of trail in 2019.
The past two weeks have been a mad-rush to wrap things up here at school. After compromising on gear choices, teetering on the edge of retail burnout, applying for permits and transferring my material possessions from dorm room to storage, I’m beginning to feel confident that I’ll be ready to hit the trail by month’s end. In the next post, I’ll provide an overview of what I’ll be taking with me.