Neil’s Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, blog
7th – 12th May 2017: 110 miles from Campo to Warner Creek.
Neil’s given me his trail notes from his first week and I’ve typed them up into a blog. I hope I’m doing justice to his grand adventure! – Maria.
The first section is done and he’s off to a great start! Doing more miles than planned, but his body is holding up well. Apparently he doesn’t have a single blister!
He started the hike with support from Scout and Frodo. These guys sound amazing – they’re a couple who open their home up to PCT hikers the night before the hike starts. They pick up, feed and shelter about 30 PCT hikers everyday. They also transport the hikers to the start, which is out in the middle of nowhere. They’re just amazing people who are committed to giving back in a big way. 900 people so far have gone through their house.
The first day was cold with wind and rain.
There was even snow about 20 miles north of the Mexican border!
It sounds like there was quite a ferocious storm in that area, and they kept seeing remnants of snow for the next 2 days as they headed to Mt Laguna. Mt Laguna is a town of ten people. Apparently there was an Aussie Olympic running team in town for a training camp.
The next few days were full of stunning scenery as they left Mt Laguna and headed to Warner Springs. He saw his first coyote and first rattle snake.
One night they had “tent city” with 15 hikers camped under a bridge, before finally making it to Warner Springs for a bucket-shower and laundry stop. It sounds like they’ve had a lot of support from the local communities along the way.
Neil’s formed into a good group with some others who are walking about the same speed, with random nationalities represented. They’re pushing 20 miles or so every day! The first weeks pace has seen quite a few drop off behind, but so far going good. Warner Springs is little bit of a disaster zone with walking wounded everywhere but at the same time such great trail spirit.
On we go…
One of the most extraordinary things about the PCT is the “trail magic”. Random strangers – called trail angels – help the hikers out, expecting nothing in return. Neil had his first bit of trail magic when a man named Bob gave him a burger! The local communities seem to rally to support the hikers as well. On one of the long stretches without water, a local volunteer group maintain a cache of water for the hikers.
Apparently everyone who does the PCT ends up with a “trail name”. The names often result from an interesting incident along the trail. The best I’ve heard include Cookie Monster, Roadkill, Make Do, Pants on Fire, Mr President and Kit-Kat. I guess it’s easier than remembering everyone’s real name!
Neil’s had his first signs of a trail name after someone thought he introduced himself as Neo. Neil said “It may end up sticking and since I like the Matrix it ain’t so bad!”