I am an Australian with a home in the coastal resort of Terrigal (about an hour north of Sydney) with a life-long love of running and adventure. Since retiring from work in 2003, I have been lucky enough to pursue many of my dreams.
The 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has been on my list since completing the Appalachian Trail (2,200 miles) back in 1986. Now, 31 years later and aged 66, I’m finally going to get there.
Of course, my body is 31 years older, and showing the wear and tear that comes with a lifetime of long-distance running. I had begun to doubt whether I would ever make it to the PCT, but a month into my hike around Ireland in 2016 I began to think that I just might have the fitness to tackle the PCT………and that time was running out. The wedding of my son, scheduled for April 2017 in southern California, seemed a sign that 2017 was to be my PCT year.
I do have doubts about my body holding up to the rigours of the PCT, not to mention the risks of injury that all back-country hikers face, so have mentally prepared myself for the possibility of not making it the whole way. Way-above-average precipitation in California during the winter may also make parts of the PCT too difficult to traverse, or I may have to skip sections in the hope of returning later. There are lots of variables in play.
Anyway, I have a PCT long-distance permit for a start date of 25 April at the Mexican border and will begin a slow and steady trek north from there with hopes of reaching the Canadian border around the end of September.
I plan to publish a daily journal online, but the sporadic nature of cell phone coverage along the PCT will mean that the updates sometimes come in batches.