This gift was both a book and a blessing. Jesse gave me the green-light to attempt a solo backpacking trek across the entire Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Jesse had already established a strong argument for multiple wife of the year awards, but after this go-ahead, her trophy is secured for the rest of time. This had always been something I was interested in throughout our marriage and long before. Naturally, the fascinating combination of discovery and fatigue attached to long-distance backpacking has romanced myself and many others. Her blessing was a complete surprise to me. I generally dislike surprises, but this was an obvious exception.
Officially, the Oregon section of the PCT is 456 miles. My trip will be slightly longer than that due to a planned variation on the last day of trekking. Because I grew up hiking and backpacking the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge, finishing my trek via this alternate route is the natural and nostalgic decision. After researching oft-traveled routes and variations by others, I've found that most PCT through-hikers do the same thing. The Eagle Creek variation is just THAT good.
There are many different approaches to long-distance backpacking. Some prefer to plan almost nothing in regards to their daily mileages, while others prefer to plan the entire trip very carefully and meticulously. I tend to fall into the latter group. While some may argue that this takes the "fun" out of a trip like this, so far, I have found that the opposite is true for ME. The planning process has been fantastic. It has consumed me. After scouring the entire trail across Oregon via a slew of available resources, I feel as if I've already completed a virtual version of the trip, but sitting in an office chair is much different than packing your home and food across Oregon. I can't wait for the challenge.
Departure day is July 7th. In the meantime, I'll be adding a huge amount of information to this site. In my preparations, other people's accounts and experiences leading up to and completing their own trips has informed and encouraged me. I hope to provide the same courtesy to those that follow me.
Here's another factor regarding the trail. It would be RAD to see you on it! Although I oft-times prefer to be alone out in the sticks, 25 days straight is something entirely different. Check out the "route" portion of this blog to check out exactly where I'll be on specific days. If you're capable of overlooking the awful stench that will be my constant companion on the trail, I'd love to see you!
As mentioned, updates and new information will be a-plenty leading up to the trek! I've got a whole lot to cover. Gear lists, gear reviews/suggestions, FAQ's, planning processes/tools, etc. Naturally, I'll be updating this page during my journeyings as well. You'll be able to track my progress live and partake of insights along the way. Barring any unfortunate injuries or mishaps, we are a complete GO for launch. Stay tuned!