I first heard about the Pacific Crest Trail about 7 years ago, when I was standing on it. I was up from Arizona, visiting a friend in Hood River, Oregon, and we were hiking in the greenest place I had ever seen. I had had no idea that there could be so much water, everywhere. Lakes rivers streams clouds mist rain and dripping moss. I thought I’d been dropped into a fairytale.
I thought about the trail again a few years later, during the too long/too short training period before starting my Peace Corps service in Suriname. They had brought all us new volunteers into the city for a few days, a short reprieve from the other greenest place I’d ever been. (Rainforests are funny like that.) We sat around comparing skin infections and bug bites and host family horror stories. I told Kate it looked like she had a fungal infection on her face (she did). Then Kate and I started talking about dreams and plans that didn’t involve culture shock and new languages and we started planning our PCT hike for two years later, when we got back.
When we got back, it turned out I didn’t have any money, and besides I needed to finish grad school, and things were different after Peace Corps.
Last year, J mentioned the PCT as something he’d like to do someday. Oh yes! I thought. The PCT… I’d forgotten about you… and it started to simmer. Then in January, I realized that I had enough money, and health, and time. And this time PCT fever seized me completely. Preparations began!
So I’ll be heading out onto the trail this summer. Plans are still fuzzy, gear is still unbought/unmade, and logistics remain to be tackled. But this time, it’s time.