walking the PCT

The last book I read in the hospital was wild, by Cheryl Strayed, which was about walking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as a regenerating experience. The book was turned into a movie this year. I did not like the book very much and did not try to watch the film, but when I realised my vacation rental would bring me a dozen miles from the PCT, I planned a day hike along this mythical trail… Especially since my daughter had dreams of hiking the trail one day. (Not realising at the time that Cheryl Strayed had not come that far north, but had stopped at the border between Oregon and Washington.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA)

The hike was really great, staying on a high ridge for most of the time and offering 360⁰ views of the Eastern North Cascades (as well as forest fire smoke clouds in the distance…) Walking on the trail was very smooth as it was wide enough, with a limited gradient and hardly anyone around. Actually, we felt like intruding tourists on the trail, with our light backpacks, since the few hikers we crossed were long-distance hikers, “doing” the trail with sometimes backpacks that looked as heavy as Strayed’s original “Monster”. And sometimes with incredibly light ones. A great specificity of those people is that they all were more than ready to share their experiences and goals, with no complaint about the hardship of being on the trail for several months! And sounding more sorry than eager to reach the Canadian border and the end of the PCT in a few more dozen miles… For instance, a solitary female hiker told us of her plans to get back to the section near Lake Chelan she had missed the week before due to threatening forest fires. A great entry to the PCT, with the dream of walking a larger portion in an undefined future…

6 Responses to “walking the PCT”

  1. I would love to try the PCT. Maybe I will get out there some day to check it out if not hike it.

    • Any suggestion for a ten mile run around Banff???

      • Tunnel Mountain. You can run from downtown. It is not very high but it definitely goes up.
        Or the marsh lands south of town. Start at the train station. There you will see lots of animals and there are lots of flat trails.
        A little further out is Johnston Creek. Very beautiful creek valley but you need to do the first part when tourists are at a minimum. Further along it gets quieter.
        And if you are really up to something epic, try Rockwall trail that heads up to Floe Lake. But it is not easy.
        Other flat ones are in the area of Lake Minnewanka.
        Canmore also has some beautiful trails. From downtown follow the river upstream for a km then go downstream for several kms.
        There’s lots of options.

      • I ran Tunnel Mountain on a previous trip, so I will follow your advice for the marsh lands, hoping that the mosquitoes will have died of cold when I visit. Anything further is not an option this time, as I have meetings all day long at the Banff Centre. Many thanks!

      • I once ran from downtown, past the Band Spring hotel then along the river back to town past the waterfalls. That is pretty flat and the river is beautiful

      • I see what you mean, it is next to the golf course and the start of the trail to Mount Rundle (which took [me] three attempts to climb)…

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