The Most Magical Part of PCT Days
Waking up in a tent in Cascade Locks, Oregon and watching the sky turn cotton candy pink over the Columbia River and the surrounding mountains, surrounded by tents and bivys and sleeping bags and sleepy people holding steaming cups of coffee was not the most magical part of PCT Days.
Neither was the unexpected late-night firework show in Stevenson that dazzled the sky and reflected in the river.
The most magical part of PCT Days was being surrounded by past and present thru-hikers all weekend. Talking to them, learning from them, admiring them.
Current thru-hikers nearing the end (one more state!) of their journey. Former thru-hikers, bumping into old friends and reminiscing about miles shared together. Impressive older thru-hikers, who were on the trail before the PCT was cool and guiding apps (or even our guidebook!) existed.
Thru-hikers have a distinctive aura about them. And we’re not talking about their dirt-covered bodies and gear or strong…scent. They carry themselves differently. They’re more easygoing. More willing to make friends with strangers. More appreciative. More fun.
Have you ever sat and observed thru-hikers? Probably not, but after three days standing in a booth watching a parade of thru-hikers go past, we highly recommend it. Watching them is a great lesson in necessity, one we should all adopt. They carry literally everything they need to survive on their backs. Food. Water. Shelter. Clothing. Now take a look just inside your purse or your car (and let’s not even mention your house). How much of that junk do you really need? We have the answer—none of it.
You need to think like a thru-hiker. Do you really need 5 pairs of shoes? No. Do you really need a raincoat and a windbreaker and a sweatshirt and a puffy? No. Do you really need to consume all the calories? Yes. Do you need to be less materialistic? Yes.
Looking out among the hundreds of people who have been impacted somehow by the PCT, it’s nice to play an important role in the community and help people achieve their dreams. Working on the revision of our famous Pacific Crest Trail guidebooks is no small undertaking. It’s a massive responsibility. And whether people use our guidebook for their thru-hike preparation, tear it apart and ship it with their resupply boxes, or sit at home dreaming about the trail, we’re honored to be a part of the PCT family.