Monday July 10th, 2017

Seattle, Washington
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It is 8am in an apartment in Seattle and there is nothing left to do but wait. In one hour, I walk to the Post Office to mail my bounce box. In two hours, when another hiker arrives, we pile into a rental car and drive to Ross Lake. We are ferried north to a PNT (Pacific Northwest Trail) trailhead (named Devils Ridge Trail on my map). It intersects the PCT in 17 miles at Holman Pass. We walk north to tag the border (~16 miles). Then, turn and walk 2,650 miles south to the Mexico Border.

My pack lies loaded and ready with food for six days. This will see me through to Mazama. I resupply there for one day and walk ~20 miles to Stehekin where a food box awaits. An ice ax is strapped to the outside of my pack and microspikes wait within.

I sit here feeling strong and prepared; never have I worked and trained so hard for something. Since returning to Pittsburgh in March after riding the Baja Divide, I worked and trained nearly everyday. I would wake at 7am and pedal to work. I cut grass or operated the machine at the supply yard for most of the day. Then, I would pedal to the gym and lift for an hour or two. I focused on strength and balancing my body. My primary exercises were squats and deadlifts. I am proud to say I hit 355lbs again in the deadlift and a new PR of 225 in the squat. My mother, a physical therapist, provided supplementary exercises like 7-way hips to fix imbalances. For a SOBO hike on the PCT, it is important to hit the trail fit.

I am excited to live outside again and happy the preparation and planning is over. I’m more of a doer than a planner. I could use another hour of sleep. Adrenaline will carry me though. I cannot wait for the sunset and stars tonight. I really miss sleeping outside.

I feel grateful for the support of my family and friends and another supporter, Sierra Designs who sent me my pack and sleeping bag. This is SOO much easier thanks to y’all.   

Happy Trails!!!

Kodak

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4 Comments

  • Kodak,

    Sounds like you’re well prepared and highly motivated. I wish you Godspeed and Happy Trails. When you have a moment, if like to know any differences in gear or prep between you AT hike and this one.

    Thanks

    LOOKER

    • Thanks Looker!

      I changed quite a bit from my AT hike. On the AT I carried a computer. I will never do that again! Though, I did enjoy it until Vermont where it was mailed home. Instead of a computer, I have a new camera that talks to my phone so I do not need the intermediary. I have a bluetooth keyboard for writing. I changed shelters from a tarptent to a square tarp with Sea to Summit Nano for bug protection when needed. I swited from a 20 degree sleeping bag to a 32 degree quilt with bivvy. My cookset is the same. I am also carryng a tripod. So, my pack weight is roughly the same since switching to the lighter sleep system. My Sierra Designs pack is better suited to heavier loads than my Osprey Exos 58 and it weighs roughly the same. It is more comfortable especially with the added camera gear.

      As for prep, I trained heavy for this hike. I barely trained for AT. I rode my bike to a labor job then would lift for an hour or two nearly everyday. I am in way better shape than I was for AT. I ran in preparatoin for AT but was still pretty fit.

      Hope that helps!
      Kodak

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