Why hike the PCT?
Many people have asked me why I want to hike the PCT. You might think there would be an easy answer for that, but I often am at a loss for words when asked. There’s a ton of reasons I want to hike the PCT, and I can’t say any of them stand out from the others.
So, in no particular order of importance, here’s why I want to hike the PCT:
- Because I’ve been thinking about it since I first heard about it as a boy. I fell in love with backpacking when I was 8 or 10 or something, and some of the trails my father took me on were part of the PCT. This was back in the ‘70’s, when the PCT was barely complete, but it sparked my imagination. Seriously? Backpack from Mexico to Canada? That’s so cool!
- Because I still can. Yes, perhaps a lot of mid-life crisis action here. But it’s true. I’m 46. If not now, when? When I retire at 65 or whatever? I’m certain I’ll have a better chance of success and a much more enjoyable time if I hike it while I’m still “young”.
- Because I’m bored. My life is good. But getting more than a little routine. Time to mix it up and do something different for a while.
- For better health. Being a desk jokey will kill you. I was always in excellent shape until my late 30’s when my field work went way down and I became admittedly a little lazy. It will be nice to get some exercise.
- To get outside! I love being outside, even in bad weather. That’s one of the reasons I joined the Forest Service. Once, me and my field partner worked four days a week, camping out every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night for about 18 months in a row. And this was back when it used to rain and snow in California in the winter. If that was still my job, I probably wouldn’t be hiking the PCT this year.
- To think. To unplug. To get away from all the noises and distractions of the human-created world, and see if there is something quiet, either inside me or outside me, that can be heard.