Day 111 - 7/18/18 (flip SOBO from Ashland, OR to Lone Pine, CA).
July 19, 2018
A ”zero” for us in Northern Kennedy Meadows. Slept in till 7am and had a nice breakfast in the restaurant. Went through our resupply box and will be shortening from 5 to 4 days getting to Tuolumne Meadows. Therefore sent back some food and my warm clothing. The temps have been so warm I only kept my hat. Put together these lists from our experiences.
Characteristics of a PCT through hiker: 1. They have trekking poles, dirty girl gaiters and a Z rest pad. 2. Their feet will never, ever be clean again. 3. Water sources, tent site locations, food and daily miles are the focus each day. 4. Dirt and filth become a commodity. 5. Their clothing is very baggy. 6. They can be smelled a mile away but are unaware of this. 7. Milkshakes trump beer on most occasions. 8. Real names are not used, only trail names. This way what happens on the PCT stays on the PCT. 9. They are experts at “dry camping” as getting more miles each day is a priority. 10. They must like repetition because eat, hike, sleep is the daily mantra.
What PCT through hikers appreciate: 1. Trail angels and trail magic. 2. Anything cold to drink. 3. Sun on a cool morning, shade and a cool breeze on a hot afternoon. 4. A good trail surface. 5. Plentiful, clean, flowing water. 6. Flat tent sites. 7. Friendly faces when off trail. 8. Cell service. 9. Showers, laundry and a bed to sleep in when off trail. 10. The variety of terrain we are privileged to visit.
What PCT through hikers do not not appreciate: 1. Hiking “any” distance off trail. 2. Drinking warm water in hot temperatures. 3. Swarming, flying insects. 4. Water carries. 5. Used TP left along the trail. 6. Bear bins. 7. Uneven, rocky trail surfaces. 8. Heavy backpacks. 9. Detours that increase the miles they must hike. 10. Stagnant or infrequent water sources. 11. Overpriced resupply options and long waits for hitches.
PCT through hikers learn to value: 1. Water. 2. Showers. 3. Clean clothes. 4. Fresh food. 5. Home, family and friends. 6. The journey and what they are accomplishing. 7. Patience - nothing happens instantly on the trail. 8. Gratitude for the simple things in life (water, food, shelter). 9. Good, comfortable footwear. 10. Remembering on “hard” days that this to shall pass.