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Re: [pct-l] Introduction to Jamie and Ray

>>Initially we aimed to do
the whole trail between April and September 1999 but, due me getting
married, joining a US company who are very demanding, my Dad needing to
continue teaching and concerns over our ability to complete the walk and
continue walking, we have now decided to have a 4 month stint covering the
entire length but "cheating" certain sections in order to achieve as much as
possible in the 4 month period.  Dad has been busily training for the trip
and runs/walks up and down the Pennine hills in Yorkshire (north of England)
daily whereas I am still planning my training regime!! << 

Why not aim to complete the entire trail in the 4 month timeframe? With
adequate training and preparation, this could certainly be feasible. Consider
picking up Jardine's new book, "Beyond Backpacking," which has a lot of
helpful information on how to reduce packweight, enabling higher daily
mileages. It also has a section dedicated to training - sounds like your
Dad is about on track there, getting conditioned well in advance of the
journey. You might check out Jardine's web page for more info on this book,
and on the out-of-print (but still available from publisher) "PCT Hiker's

The logistics of skipping around unfavorable sections of trail could be
more hassle than its worth. And it would be doubly hard to determine what
is and is not a favorable section from so great a distance. Every section
of the PCT has something worthwhile to offer, and to me there's something
sacred about passing through these sections in a linear, continous way.
After all, they aren't really "guidebook sections" so much as they are a
part of the natural whole, so to speak. If I had only 4 months to dedicate
to the PCT, then, I would aim to start at the Mexican border and hike
continuously north. I'd keep Canada in mind as the preferable finish point,
but more than that I would behold the varied natural environments along
the way, and take pride and inspiration from my dedicated, unbroken
migration across those lands. If I made it all the way to Canada, so much
the better. But regardless of the outcome, I would walk away from that
journey with a real sense of accomplishment, knowing that I walked from
point A to point B without any outside help, save for food support. And
if I someday had the time and motivation to return to the PCT, I could
simply pick up where I left off, and continue on toward Canada. A piecemeal,
skip-around approach, on the other hand, might get me to Canada in one
season, but it would vastly complicate a return trip to the PCT for "make-up"
purposes, and it would leave me with a bittersweet feeling about my

This is me "in your shoes." Naturally, these fit better on the intended
wearer! I'd say, lace 'em up and head out for some training hikes, and
stay tuned to this list for the varied, often contradictory advice from
the thru-hiking vets. And enjoy your journey, whatever its nature.

- Blister>Free, PCT '99
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