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Tagged With: Skykomish

Day 138: A Nice Change of Pace

September 15, 2015
Steven’s Pass – Skykomish (2476.0) to Tentsite before Bench Mark Mountain Junction (2498.2)
22.2 PCT miles today
2532.8 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 5,609 ft, – 4,853 ft

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I am excited to announce that it finally feels like we have come to the end of our hike. Today was the first day that we truly felt the end was near, and it added a little bounce to our step. This morning we packed up and got back on trail by 8am, but we were armed with a whole new plan, and most importantly new daily mileages, which eased some of our anxiety and brought back the joy of hiking. Instead of pulling 25’s all the way to Canada with a couple neros thrown in, we’re finishing just one day later than planned, and not forcing ourselves to do anything more than 22 miles a day. This may seem like a little change, but it has made a big difference.

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Day 137: A Mandatory Zero

September 14, 2015
Steven’s Pass – Skykomish (2476.0)
0 PCT miles today
2510.6 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 0 ft, – 0 ft

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Sometimes it takes getting well to realize just how unwell you were feeling. I woke this morning feeling less than rested and still experiencing the extreme bodily and mental fatigue that reduced me to a useless rag doll last night. I tried hard to pull myself together and take on some of our “nero day” responsibilities, but when Mama Bear announced that we needed to be checked out of our room by 11am, I lost it. The very thought of going back out into the elements, let alone finding the energy to take a shower and pack everything back up, was more than I could handle. I fell on the mercy of Mama Bear and Pickles and within minutes it was decided that today would be a zero. I crawled back into bed, flooded with relief, and let my mom and fiancĂ© take over for a few hours while I napped.

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Day 136: A Marathon Finish

September 13, 2015
Junction of Two Creeks past Cathedral Pass (2450.8) to Steven’s Pass – Skykomish (2476.0)
25.2 PCT miles
2510.6 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 5,712 ft, – 6,957 ft

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Throughout this hike I’ve appreciated the contrast and comparison of hiking the PCT to running a marathon. Since the PCT is about 2,600 miles, and a marathon is about 26 miles, this particular comparison has worked well. I’ve only run one full marathon in my life, the Chicago Marathon back in 2008, and I can’t say I ran it particularly well. But my body and mind went through certain stages that I haven’t forgotten to this day, and to some extent, they have mirrored quite well the sensations I’ve experienced on the PCT. Being around mile 2450 on the PCT feels remarkably similar to being on mile 24.5 of a marathon. Of course, if this were a marathon the bizarre physical and mental sensations we’re experiencing would last for another 15 minutes or so, but out here we get to experience them for another 10 days. If you love running marathons but are looking for something more, might I suggest a 5 month thru-hike of the PCT.

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Categories: PCT | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments