I unfolded my brain map and laid it out this way and that orienting to the contours of what it takes to wander a couple thousand miles on a trail.
Some facts about the Pacific Crest Trail loomed out:
- Fewer people have thru hiked the PCT than have climbed Mt. Everest.
- 300 or so start out to hike the entire 2,660 mile trail each year but only 30 percent or so finish
- If each step is two feet long, then 5280 feet/mile ÷ 2 feet/step = 2640 steps/mile x 2660 miles = 7,022,400 steps. Adding in steps for side hikes and trekking to resupply points … let’s just call it 7,100,000 steps.
Of course, I next perused some books. Specifically, the three volume Pacific Crest Trail set by Jeffrey Schaffer, et al, published by Wilderness Press — The Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California, The Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California, and The Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon & Washington. One I bought, the other two came as birthday gifts. The guidebooks aren’t the easiest read. I often caught myself falling asleep while reading them. But they contain detailed information (although some say the information is dated).
Then I meandered through the internet to Pacific Crest Trail related sites — PCTA.org, PlanYourHike.com, Postholer.com, TrailJournals.com, and BackpackingLight.com. And to a couple, maybe less well known but informative sites — GottaWalk.com and Backpacker45.com.
I subscribed to the PCT-L and attentively read the daily digest (the day’s email discussion batched together in a single email).
The map brain said, “Hold on, that’s a lot of information. Need to process and sort and organize.” And the hiker body said, “Extraordinary! Let’s go!”