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[at-l] PCT part Three



More PCT observations

  The People

   You would think that long distance thru-hikers wouldn't change much from one trail to the other but thats not true.  PCT thru hikers are described best by one word- "Driven".  Now when I was thru-hiking the AT back in 97 I met my share of mileage obsessed thru-hikers or should I say Thru-Runners.  But for every mileage hound there were at least five "lumbering and loving it" hkers like myself who weren't concerned with just finishing the trail but with enjoying the ride towards that goal.  PCT hikers for the most part are kids that have memorized Ray Jardins book front to back and have taken every bit of his warped mantra to heart.  Which accounts for the hiker boxes full of corn pasta and mylar covered umbrellas you find in towns like Warner Springs, and Agua Dulce in Southern California.  Now I have brought into my pack  list many go lite ideas here and there but I never went to the levels that most PCT hikers have which is funny because the trail is much easier and I found it much easier on my legs and joints even though my pack weight was ten pounds under my AT pack weight.  I couldn't believe how many kids I met on the PCT that had done numberous 30-40 mile days!  I don't know if this is the normal on the AT now as well but if I do over 25 miles in one day its unusual and unnecessary when the track is so even through the 10 percent graded PCT.  Generally every thru-hiker was very mileage obsessed on the PCT with the exception of us AT veterans.  We were usually much more easy going then the PCTers even though I did get some guff from PCTers  for using a trail name and talking too much about the AT.  I did hear from more then one hiker "Your on the PCT now, the overcrowded AT doesn't mean anything out here".  I think there may be some jealousy there pehaps.  I think near the end I had a lot of kids convinced to heading out for the AT next year or sometime soon.  However I believe in Beavis97's mantra "Its not  he who finishes first it's he who finishes last that wins out here!".  
Take my words for what they are, just my opinion I could be wrong.  In my heart I love the AT because its just a really fun trail to thru-hike, but the PCT has it's merits as well.
Cheers All
Globetrotter

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