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[pct-l] Steve Peterson Introduction

Having blown my cover as a lurker (for the past year) I figure I ought to 
introduce myself.

I'm 54 amd I'll be doing the JMT next month. If all goes well, I will probably 
attempt the PCT in '05. I've taken two long, human-powered solo trips in my 
life: an 1800 mile trip by bicycle through the western U.S. when I was 16 and a 
somewhat longer trip (again by bicycle) through western Canada when I was 18. 
Came face to face with bears both times. Since then I've car-camped, day-hiked, 
and backpacked throughout Alberta, B.C., Oregon, Washington, and Northern 
California. These days, since I live in the SF Bay Area, I spend part of every 
September backpacking in/around Yosemite. Somewhere in there I also became a 
fairly serious runner and did a bunch of marathons as well as shorter races.

I first started considering the PCT last summer and have been doing my homework 
ever since: I subscribed to the list and immmediately read the entire previous 
year's archives, read and annotated the guidebooks, data book, and Yogi's PCT 
Handbook, worked like the devil to lighten my load (now under 10 lbs and still 
getting lighter), experimented with a lot of different foods, did a 130-mile 
hike (complete with resupply, just to see what that was like) last fall, have 
been training my butt off to get back to somewhere close to my marathoning level 
of fitness, and, as I said above, will do the JMT this fall--mostly to enjoy the 
area, but also in part to get a little more data on myself and how my body 
responds to thru-hiking miles, day after day.

Although my competive side really wants to make it all the way to Canada and do 
a 30-mile (or greater) day somewhere along the way, my prudent side cautions 
that high-mileage days may just get me off the trail sooner, one way or the 
other, and I'd rather stop at, say, mile 2400 due to snowstorms than at mile 300 
because I was too aggressive with the daily mileage. I also prefer to be on the 
trail, rather than in towns, so I'm currently planning to resupply somewhat less 
often and (also because I'm hiking fewer miles per day) therefore carry slightly 
more weight than many PCTers--which is where I am coming from in my recent 
comments about water and pack weight. Also unlike many, I actually enjoy 
planning and preparing for projects like this, and prefer to solve forseeable 
problems up front rather than deal with them on the trail, which makes me seem 
rather fanatic to those whose approach is to "cross that bridge when/if I get 

Finally, since this list has been entirely too quiet (the recent bear can 
discussion notwithstanding), I may as well say right out that I will probably 
wear boots not trail runners, carry an umbrella (knowing full well that it gets 
windy in places), not carry trekking poles (to a runner, trekking poles are just 
plain weird), happily carry the "beer" can (which I've been carrying for years), 
use a tarp (even in Washington), not carry an ice axe (though I won't leave KM 
before 15 June), and use a down quilt. I think that covers all the controversies 
I've noted in the past two years' postings :-)

   -- Steve