I like the idea of knowing more about each other on the list. There is a lot of valuable knowledge that past thru-hikers have learned and even those of us who have not done the PCT can contribute—and learn.
I remember all the way back to 1965 when I graduated from high school and pair up with another backpacker to hike the JMT. Times were different then and we started from Yosemite with little knowledge of what we were going to do. We made it as far as Tulomune Meadows and quit there, parting ways. The snow was bad and we were really "green."
The dream materialized in 1987 when I planned a fastpack of the JMT from Whitney to Yosemite. Will Uher and I did the trail in 8.5 days. Both experienced in running ultras, our aim was 6 days. Our packs were Gregory Two-Day packs weighing in at 30 pounds including food and water. We restocked in Red’s Meadows. It was one of the most fun times I have had. I still can vividly remember the passes and many sections of the trail.
Last year I had a permit again for the JMT but had to cancel due to finances and other commitments. Maybe 1999 will be the year. I want to do the Tahoe-Yosemite and the JMT in one pass in a solo hike of 10-13 days. My concerns are food. I do not use a stove and have no problem eating the same food day after day. I keep searching for the ideal food—lightweight and low bulk and high in calories!
The PCT really interests me and maybe someday I will have the time to pull it off. In the meantime I do like many others—I read about the trail and investigate equipment.
The interest in hiking and running prompted me to write the book FIXING YOUR FEET last summer. It has done very well with over 2300 sold in 18 months. The book came out of a suggestion by my son after doing a 12-hour track run when he said, "You should write about how to take care of your feet—everybody else has trouble and you don’t." Well, to make a long story short, my idea for a 16-page pamphlet grew into a 202-page book. I really enjoyed the hikers (some from this list), runners, and adventure racers that I talk to and provided input to the book. It is their experiences, like those of the many people on this list, who we can all learn from.
I value the opinion of everyone on the list and I hope we can continue to feel the freedom to discuss any topic related to the PCT, related trails, and hiking in general.
author: FIXING YOUR FEET: Preventive Maintenance and Treatments for Foot Problems of Runners, Hikers, and Adventure Racers
web site: http://www.footworkpub.com/feet/index.htm (check out the book here)