Some thoughts before departure...

  • I am still not a vet, doctor, lawyer, dog trainer, cia agent, fbi agent or a navy seal so...walk
  • I am doing this for the challenge of course, and I hope to gain a confidence that comes with this type of endeavor. But also I hope to gain some new knowledge about the world and the truths that reside in it.
  • Am I walking to "find myself"? Or just to take a walk. You decide...and you'll probably be right.
  • I'm not in the best shape of my life, but I do have a lot of new great gear so....
  • After living with my parents the last 2 years, it makes perfect sense to walk 2650 miles - alone.
  • Yes there will be bears, cougars, rattlesnakes and scorpions both imagined and real along the way. I'm definitely more worried about those imagined.
  • Am I scared? Not as of yet, more of just a constantly increasing anticipation. But check back with me on the 3rd night in the desert.
  • I tried to keep my pack fairly light, but I definitely would not call it ultralight. Somehow when I added up all my ultralight gear and put it in my ultralight pack, I ended up with just slightly heavy.
  • My biggest concern for this trip is that I get too hungry somewhere along the way, my brain goes awol as it usually does when I get hungry and subsequently you never hear from me again...I'll try to eat frequently.
  • I am not Christopher McCandless. This is not Into the Wild.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good beginning,great middle,questionable ending

Day 83, Mile 1369.4---Woke up this morning around 6:15 and decided to go back to sleep for a little while. Woke up at 7:45 and realized it was longer than a little while. Even with a late start the terrain allowed me to get to Drakesbad Guest Ranch by 12; the lunch bell rang just as i arrived. I was greeted by Rosemary and Moonshine a newlywed couple whom i last saw on the backside of Forrester Pass. They were on their way out but informed me i should stay for lunch, dinner, and breakfast, cause it was that good. I then met Ed who owns the place and he told me i could get a free shower at the pool house before lunch. It was a fantastic place to stop to say the least. I was clean, full from a glorious AYCE lunch for only $6.50 +tax, and back on the trail by 3:05. The lunch propelled me along for the next 15 miles. I did not stay clean for very long though. About 10 miles in, the mosquito's got bad and i had to DEET up much to my chagrin. I planned on camping at Badger Flats where 2 of the 3 sources have said there would be water. There was not. So i continued on and around 8 o'clock as i was videoing myself talking about the lack of camping locales and lack of water when a large bear caught my attention. Luckily it chose to run away from me, i prefer it that way. Not 5 minutes later i ran into Moonshine and Rosemary setting up camp right at a junction for lack of a better spot. I decided to camp here as well since they too had little water left, no decent place to camp, and a bear in the general vicinity. "Don't panic "showed up about 30 minutes after me and made the same choice. I decided not to hang my food seeing as both other parties are sleeping with their food, and i am within 50ft of them. So for the first time since the desert i am sleeping with my food, and on a night in which i just saw a bear. Hence the questionable ending. Once again i am counting on Don't panic as a lure of sorts, although he is a lot closer to my tent tonight. I am going to try and get some sleep now, so i am well rested when i have to get up and fight 400lbs of fur, teeth, and claws sometime during the night. Last but not least i want to wish my Aunt Janie and Miss Kristen church a Happy Birthday, depending on how the fight goes i may have half a bear skin rug for your b-day gifts. Thought of the day; the phrase "more power to him/her" is over-used out here, and it is really just another way of saying "with all due respect" it just happens to come after the insult rather than before generally. For example, "i mean she is really fat to be out here on the trail, but i mean if she can do it then- more power to her". I guess there is a "polite" way to do everything. Song of the day; i can't remember it. Craving of the day; fruit salad and a meat of some variety.

JWC on the PCT


Mom & Dad said...

Love you and miss you, and i'm glad the bears are running away from you, i also prefer it that way!

Love, yo momma

Sandra said...

We have one of your pictures as wallpaper on our desktop. We love seeing it and imagining you out there somewhere. Can't wait for you to make it to our part of the world. We will definately have plenty of goodies for you as you pass by. Plus Jefferson would love to hike some with you.
P.S. I absolutely love your song of the day choices.

AUNT JANIE said...

Hi Jess - (this site has serious issues with people who want to post comments!) Thanks for the b-day greeting. My son (your former cousin) called and mailed b-day greetings to me, too! Sounds like you had a good one and that all is going well. I continue to envy you this adventure, but am very glad you are getting to do it. Stay safe and well.

ark said...

Hey Jesse...It was such a wonderful treat to read your entries today. I have been in Lakeland, Florida and lost a few days. I first had to respond to 42 emails, sleep 12 hours, and work a few days before I had a moment to enjoy your tales on the trail. I continue to be thrilled by the way that you are seeing the inestimable value of family and friends. I saw a little three month old baby in Lakeland who had been born blind. The first night they prayed for her she could see with one eye. The second night, the other eye turned outward. The third night, the second eye began to track with the other eye. I got to see her up close. She still has that inward turned look that born blind people have, but she can see for sure. I talked with a man at our hotel pool who had a massive stroke with a less than 5% chance of making it. He not only was making it, he was progressively being healed. His wife had to help him out of his wheelchair that morning so that he could sit on the stairs and splash water on his body with his good hand. He and I talked for about an hour. That night, in a crowd of about 8,000, I looked up on the platform, and there was Al, standing upright, speaking clearly into the microphone with his wife laughing and dancing beside him. That was a cool moment. Another really cool moment was when I was standing with about four hundred people in front of the platform, dancing and singing and praising the LORD together, and realized that I was surrounded by the nations...Korea, Africa, England, Ireland, Austria, Germany,Japan, Holland...all dancing and singing together. There were as many as 30 nations represented there. It was hard to come back to normal reality. That is what it is going to be like in heaven...praise and laughter and dancing and leaping for joy. That's what Lauren is doing...among other things I suppose. She loved to dance! I am really looking forward to that moment when you make it to the Oregon/Washington border. Love forever...........Andrea