Sunday, November 9, 2014

Desert Hiking Plans

Desert! Hot! Sandy, no water, every plant and rock is out to puncture you and your equipment. Or so I have heard. I personally have no experience hiking in the desert.
What??? Hiking for over thirty five years and you've never hiked in the desert?
That's right, I have never hiked in the desert. A desert newbie, a babe in the cacti. There are miles and miles of desert on the PCT and if I am going to hike the entire PCT I am going to need to know how to hike in the desert. So...

Next year's adventure is to the desert. Two weeks, Three hundred forty two miles of blistering, scorching, sun-baked, dusty, blinding, bliss in the wilderness. I am planning on hiking the PCT from the southern terminus to Interstate 15. Last summer I hiked the John Muir trail plus a few extra miles for a total of two hundred forty three miles in fifteen days. The plan is to hike an additional hundred miles in the same number of days.

I will attend the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO) event at Morena Lake before setting off to push myself further than I have ever pushed myself before. Even though there are not as many high passes as the JMT there is still significant elevation in climbing up and over San Jacinto Peak. I think the hardest part of this trip will be the challenges of finding water and surviving the harsh desert temperature extremes.

One of the most exciting aspects of this trip is going to be meeting the other hikers that will be attempting to hike the entire trail and the trail angels that volunteer their time and effort to assist hikers.

Now that I have set a target I have something to start working towards. For the first time in months I went to the gym and worked out today. What a weakling I have become. A pudgy weakling with skinny arms and a well rounded middle. I am having difficulty lifting my arms and legs they are so sore. It's amazing how much more motivation I feel now that I have set a goal. I find that without a goal I simply have no motivation to get in shape or stay in shape.

I'll be writing more about my plans and the stuff I learn as I prepare. The trip starts at the end of April, 2015. That is less than six months from now! So much to do, so little time...

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