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[pct-l] 20 mile days

>> I have the vision.  I need to create a path.  I need to hear your
stories. Please write about what you did and went through to start the
trail.  I don't' care if you finished or not.  What did you do, and what
worked, and what would you have done differently, if anything??? <<


It's not age that limits your distance, its conditioning. Only you know what
your personal conditioning is. 

Since you've asked for personal stories I'll give you mine. About ten years
ago, like Lance Armstrong, I went through a bout of cancer. Following
recovery the family decided to do an easy 15 mile three day hike in the
Columbia Gorge. 

By the end of the third day I was completely devastated. I ended up walking
downhill backwards because my leg muscles were too week to lock my knees and
I was carrying an empty pack.

A year and 700 tread mill miles, later we took off to do 700 miles on the
AT. We started off at a little over 10 miles a day and were up to 20 in a
few weeks. 

Three years later I find myself at the start of the PCT. A little more out
of shape than the start of the AT hike. Still I'm able to do 20 mile days
with a bit of effort. It would have been nice to have cut more weight before
starting hiking. By northern California, I'd dropped 50 pounds and 30 mile
days fly by effortlessly. 

These days I try to start out each season doing 6 to 8 mile training hikes a
couple of times a week with full pack. The first week of the hike I try to
keep it to 15 miles a day depending upon the conditions. This year in New
Mexico I was hiking 20 mile days from the start, but my partner and I did a
bit more training.

I tell you this, because I'm hardly a prime example of a hiker hunk. A good
friend of mine is 60+ and can out hike 99.99 percent of hikers under 30. So
unless you've got serious health problems, age shouldn't limit your miles or