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[pct-l] Tales from the PCT by Stinky

Here's my feeble contribution consisting of two parts:

Part 1 The Worst Day on the Trail, 

Part 2 The Best Day on the Trail

Worst Trail Day PCT'84

I came to the PCT hike having never backpacked in my life, having just
finished a philosophy degree and with no prospects for the future. My
original equipment consisted of a $19 K-Mart tent, a $30 Wal-Mart backpack
and the heaviest boots Timberland made. My hiking partner, Weasel, refused
to leave the friendly confines of Wisconsin unless I at least got a real
backpack, which I did by selling my last earthly possession, a coin

Anyway, I wasn't expecting snow and torrential rains in early April within
100 miles of Mexico. That's what we got though. The worst day was spent
just past Laguna Mountain at a closed wayside. We set out our sleeping bags
under starry skies and a gentle breeze. Sometime during the night all hell
broke loose. Torrential rains started without warning. To save weight we
had no artificial light source to help us in our mad scramble to set up our
tents. I got the tent up by feel just before my sleeping bag was 100%
saturated, crawled in and, for a very brief time, felt that feeling you get
when watching a bad storm from the comfort of shelter. Within a couple
minutes my tent collapsed from a combination of wind and snow that I'd
never seen in the frozen tundra of northern Wisconsin. "You get what you
pay for", yelled Weasel from his dry $160 bivy sack. My only recourse was
the outhouses. Tried the mens side; locked. Tried womens side; open. I
crawled in the tiny enclosure, wrapped my sleeping bag and body around the
toilet and slept soundly the rest of the night. 

The next morning Weasel couldn't find me and thought I'd ditched him for a
hitchhike back to Wisconsin. When he looked in the womens outhouse and
found me wrapped around the toilet, sleeping like a baby, he laughed the
laugh of Bill Gates seeing Netscape lose another market point. 

After that Weasel phoned home for another tent. It was an 11 pound
Northface that, while heavy, never failed us the rest of the way to Manning

Part 2 The Best Day on the Trail

The most exhilirated I remember feeling was coming down to Cascade Locks,
Oregon on the Columbia River on an extraordinary alternate route, Eagle
Something?. It was a gorgeous hike, mostly downhill and we were giddy
knowing we'd finish, knowing how beautiful Washington was going to be and
knowing we'd meet up with other through-hikers. It's hard to imagine that
having 500 miles left seemed almost done.

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