Pacific Crest Trail – ’13
You’d think being in control of this fancy website I’d be all up to date on my blogging, but this year that wasn’t the case. After keeping a journal on the Arizona Trail, I got caught up in mashing miles once I hit the PCT and didn’t take the time to make any notes. My only real excuse is lack of interest, since I focused more on moving forward than reflecting onto a website. No regrets though, because I had an excellent journey!
Repeat hikes of the same trail might not make much sense to most people, but I can assure you, every trip is different. This was my third thru hike on the PCT, and it felt as fresh as the first. Sure, I was better equipped and had the confidence resulting from two other successful PCT thru hikes to alleviate any fear–but there is no guarantee that ANYONE will finish, regardless of hiking experience. There are so many variables, so many challenges. Starting from the Mexican border was exhilarating, and even though my confidence was higher than prior years, there was a startling difference within myself. I’ve been fortunate to benefit greatly from the lessons the trail has to offer, and I enjoyed reflecting on the past as the present slowly unfolded before me at a steady 3.5 miles per hour. This is the speed I really thrive on; walking meditation.
This was my fastest PCT thru hike by far. I beat my last time by more than 30 days! Although speed matters to nobody but oneself, it’s neat to watch your efficiency increase, even as age creeps up behind you. The 35 year old Lint is much faster than the 26 year old Lint, even though I should be well past my prime. One of the interesting (and unexpected) aspects of endurance activities is that age often brings significant increases in speed. Younger athletes are usually faster in sprinting types of events, but those in my age bracket dominate in events like ultra marathons. Thru hiking isn’t much more than a series of ultra marathons, so I can now see why 35 is the new 25. I passed all those young bucks like they were standing still!
Also I finally feel like my gear has reached a pinnacle of evolution. I’ll surely tweak things here and there, but the gear list you see on other parts of this site are now so battle tested, I don’t even need to think about researching other options. I hiked most of the PCT with a sub 7 lb baseweight, and was sub 6 lbs for awhile! I’m very fortunate to be sponsored by the top gear manufacturers in the industry, and I honestly enjoy spreading their message to folks I encounter along the way. I don’t promote gear for any type of monetary reward, but solely for the joy of helping other hikers avoid the “REI pitfall” of an overburdened pack. I’ll never prostitute myself for a corporation, but I will promote gear that is functional and efficient. Hell, I’ve even been thinking about a new tattoo. How about the word EFFICIENT in olde english above my HIKER TRASH ink?