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.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Day 112, Mile 2006.9---This morning it was hard to get out of bed, i could have used a couple more solid hours. But there was the incentive of the glorious breakfast that awaited me. After the wonderful and satisfying meal i got everything together and packed up. Both Ken and Joy drove us back to the trail to drop us off. I had a great 36hrs at their house and i am grateful that my Mom has continually set me up with such awesome people. It was hard to leave the warmth of their home both figuratively and literally speaking(writing). Got back on trail sometime around 10:30 only to find it basically in a cloud. It was raining and blowing so i put my rain jacket on and a trash bag covered my pack. As we walked, the hood on my rain jacket kept blowing down and covering just my left eye. It made me lose my depth perception and consequently my balance on the unstable rocky lava fields - kind of bothersome. We finally got into the forest but i noticed my pack seemed to be getting heavier, not good. It got heavier and heavier and Icebag passed me because i was walking so slow. Later as it still poured and blew like crazy i took off my pack to get some food and realized the trash bag wasn't all that effective. My pack was soaked, again, not good. So i decided to pick up the pace and try to get to Santiam Pass asap and hitch back to Bend. I imagined taking a trip with Ken to REI this evening and getting a pack cover and possibly some other rain stuff. Then coming home to another amazing dinner etc. But it didn't happen that way, at all. I should mention that i was wearing a rain jacket and shorts all day and with the rain and wind by the time i got to Santiam i was pretty cold. Then i started walking down the hwy and the windchill got me shivering pretty good. I stood in a good spot for about an hour and got nothing but colder. So many cars with a single driver and an empty car, it was painful. It was half way through this hour that i realized i was pretty screwed if i didn't get a hitch and this didn't let up. I didn't, and it didn't, and i was very screwed. I made my way back up the road and to the trail. I remembered a nordic ski sign that mentioned a shelter about a mile back south on the pct and then a mile east-ish on a nordic run. It was my only shot really to dry out or at least not go hypothermic. At one point i was trying to get my maps back into my pack and it took me about 3 minutes because the use of my hands was so limited. It took a long time and i almost gave up thinking it must have been burned down in the fire 5 years ago, but i found it. Good timing too because at this point i was shivering uncontrollably to some degree. Its a great little log cabin with a wood stove in the middle. Glass windows but no door, just a big wide opening with a blue tarp hanging. I went about making a fire and laying all my stuff out. As i had thought most everything was wet. My sleeping bag and down jacket both had one wet spot and dried pretty fast. Not sure what i am going to do tomorrow. It all needs to be dry before i leave but i would like it to stay dry, which it won't in another storm. Maybe I'll still try and hitch in tomorrow, i really don't know. Its cold and windy still and the tarp keeps flapping excessively. I am going to add one last log and then get some sleep as best i can before it burns out. Thought of the day; if there is a hell, i bet its not all fire and brimstone, i bet its cold and wet. Songs of the day; circle of life - lion king, and jump and jive and spin your whale you got to jump and jive and spin your whale - a song about dancing with fat girls by somebody back in the day. Craving of the day; laying on the couch at Joy and Kens' house watching the Olympics and eating ice cream with fruit on top.

JWC on the PCT


Mom and Dad said...

Oh Jesse, this is hard for a Mom to hear, especially when she's your Mom! Hang in there sweetie, you're almost to food and family.

Love you, mom xoxoxoxox

PS Dad and i got such a laugh out of your song of the day: "jump and jive and then you gotta wail", but your lyrics are so much better!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking finding that cabin was the best "trail magic" yet!