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[pct-l] Howdy!

Hello all,

I have just recently subscribed to this newsletter and would like to
introduce myself. I am planning a solo through hike of the PCT this summer
beginning approximately May 17th. I hiked the Appalachian Trail almost
twenty years ago and haven't done anything of that magnitude since. I turn
forty next month and this will be a good test of whether or not I can still
have it. It was mainly a mental thing for me back then and I expect it to
be so again, blisters and sore muscles aside. Certainly I have developed a
lot of patience that I didn't have before and that should be helpful.

The Colin Fletcher reference of a couple days ago reminded me of my own
experience on the A.T. I read all his books as a kid and he above all
inspired me to take up backpacking along with some overnight hikes and such
in the Boy Scouts. So when I started that trek I was prepared for every
eventuality and my pack weighed over 60 lbs. But by the end I had pared it
down to the bare essentials and it weighed about 35 pounds fully loaded.
Colin Fletcher was a pack horse, unquestionably, but I got a lot more
pleasure out of traveling ultra light. Not only did this make me able to go
faster and further on less energy, but it also changed my state of mind. I
felt closer to nature, which is the point after all. This lesson is as
fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday.

Here is my two cents about vapor barriers. I've put my feet into bread bags
between boot and sock while working in the cold. This IS an excellent way
to keep your feet warm. I cannot, however, imagine using a vapor barrier
for any reason on a long distance hike.

I would like to meet some of the through hikers in this group out on the
trail this summer and perhaps hike along together for awhile. If anyone is
on a similar itinerary and feels likewise let me know, no obligations.


                         Andy Strickland
                         Eugene, Oregon

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