Sunday, October 04, 2015

Big plan for next year - PCT in 2016

The long walk movie trifecta is complete. I recently watched three different movies about the life-changing experiences of people tackling long treks:
  1. A Walk In The Woods, based on the book by travel writer Bill Bryson, in which Robert Redford takes a long-lost old friend, played outstandingly well by Nick Nolte, for a hike along the 2,200 mile (3,540 km) Appalachian Trail.
  2. The Way, in which Martin Sheen plays an American father who travels to France to claim the body of his estranged son who died at the start of the 500 mile (800 km) trek along the Camino de Santiago through the Pyrenees in northern Spain.
  3. Wild stars Reese Witherspoon, who plays a recently-bereaved and divorced woman who briefly experiments with heroin. With no outdoors experience, a heavy backpack and little else to go on but her own desire to put her life back together again, Cheryl sets out alone to hike the 2,663 mile (4,286 km) long Pacific Crest Trail.
After my earlier post about trekking, I got to thinking (can be dangerous, I know!) that I should make a plan to walk part of the Pacific Crest Trail (! In my excitement about losing weight, I had been telling my friend Emily about seeing A Walk In The Woods.

This was the brief e-mail I sent to Emily:
Three words: Pacific Crest Trail
Not this year but some time next year, and not the whole thing, just the bit in southern Oregon.
Just today I saw a story about a Seattle-area woman doing the Appalachian Trail unsupported in 54 days or something...
I'd love to see Crater Lake in southern Oregon some time, so this seems like a perfect time to do both: hiking and sightseeing. By the end of May next year (in seven-and-a-half months' time) I should be able to manage 15 miles a day for seven days, making the overall trip about 100 miles.

I spent the last weekend looking at Amtrak train schedules and checking out the cost of equipment and trying to imagine myself riding home on the train having successfully accomplished my mission. Even if I don't make it all happen (but I will), at least the preparation can be used as a form of motivation, where I can build up my strength and stamina in a focused way, with intermediate goal and targets.

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