PCT 2020 NOBO – Less Than 30 Days To Go

Back in 2018 I hiked (most) of the Chinook Trail, a 300-mile trail that follows the Columbia River along the Washington and Oregon border. It was 2 1/2 week journey that satisfied the itch I had to hike the PCT or another long thru-hike. Between work, family and other obligations, it was the most I could do. It was an amazing experience, and I learned a lot while hiking 18-22 miles a day. The PCT was still in the back of my mind though, and 2020 is the year that I’ll be taking on the challenge!

Cutthroat Pass on the PCT, Summer of 2019

Cutthroat Pass on the PCT, summer of 2019.

My wife and I decided to join the Peace Corps, which we will start in mid-September in North Macedonia. This created a block of time, roughly six months, where a NOBO hike of the PCT would fit in perfectly. My goal is to do the whole thing. My wife will be section hiking, starting in Campo and hiking 3-4 weeks to see how it goes. If all goes well she’ll be joining me on sections here and there.

Preparing for the Trail

I’ve learned a lot from vlogs, blogs. and websites like The Trek. All have been valuable. However, when you have a long time to prepare it’s easy to hit the point of overload. So as the months and weeks become days until we start our hike, I’ve veered away from it all. I’ve also decided to eschew some of the things that most thru-hikers do while on the trail: I’m gonna shave periodically, I’ll go by my actual name and not a trail name (although we’ll see how that goes), and although I’m definitely open to, and looking forward to, hiking with others, I refuse to use the word tramily. Not a slam against those who do any of these things—they’re just not for me.

What I will share with others is a love of the trail, the hills, mountains, trees, and critters encountered along the way. As the days count down our planning is getting more serious, refining our packs, thinking about resupply, booking airfare and our stay with Scout and Frodo, etc. We’ve ramped up our work at Crossfit (Crossfit X) with extra sandbag runs, lunges. and leg work. At this point we’re ready to go—just waiting for those final few days to count down!

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