Thursday, January 9, 2014

Determination

I don't know if there's any equivalent on the PCT for the term "Springer Fever". I first thought about calling it "Sonoran Desert Fever", although that's not half as catchy as the term used when you're craving for a ramble through the Appalachian Mountains. For the sake of convenience I will just call it "Campo Fever" instead. If you're unfamiliar with long-distance hiking in the United States you may ask yourself now: "What the hell is he talking about?" I'm gonna tell ya.



Yesterday my copy of Yogi's PCT Handbook arrived in the mail. When I was finally able to contain myself after five minutes of freaking out in a burst of joy, I sat down and read the first couple of pages. "Funny", I thought. Yogi, also known as Jackie McDonnell when she's not currently strolling across America on either the AT, PCT, or CDT (all of which she has hiked multiple times), started out the same way I did a couple of years ago. It all began with a boring night at home and a TV. Flipping mindless through the channels we stumbled on a documentary about the Appalachian Trail. It wasn't the same one, since she hiked the AT in 1999; ten years before I even heard of its existence. What's funny about this? The simple fact, that a TV documentary that you only watched because you were bored in the first place can change your life. And so it did, apparently for both of us.

When I opened the book I saw a map on the first page, and right next to it a list of important landmarks along the PCT. Now, if such exquisite words as "Anza-Borrego Desert", "John Muir Trail", "Ansel Adams Wilderness", "Yosemite National Park" or "Mount Rainier" don't make you feel like dropping whatever it is that you're doing and take a backpack to head out into the south Californian desert and start walking towards Canada, it must be one hell of an interesting occupation you have. Or maybe you're just plain stupid for not realizing what a great deal you're missing out on. Just like the words "extra-large Sirloin steak with garlic butter and French fries" make my mouth water, those terms make my legs and feet itch. Long-distance hiking is like heroin. In most cases it only takes one shot to make you addicted; and you'll find yourself unable to overcome this temptation because you enjoy it so much. Well, it's not that I have tried heroin myself, just sayin' ;-)

And so I find myself sitting at my desk here in Germany with only 106 days left until the ADZPCTKO and wonder how I'll be able to stand this awful time of waiting (by the way: this cryptic acronym is hiker jargon for a big party in the desert just before you set out for a great northbound journey). As Peregrin Took put it in Peter Jackson's The Return of the King: "I don't want to be in a battle, but waiting on the edge of one I can't escape is even worse!" I agree on the dreadful waiting, but in this case I'm looking forward to ride into battle with shine and glory; come hell or high water!

7 comments:

  1. Hi Cheeseburger,

    bin über Deinen Blog gestolpert und kann Deine Ungeduld absolut nachvollziehen! Mir ging es letztes Jahr ganz ähnlich. Ich muss zugeben ich bin etwas neidisch auf Dich, der PCT ist ein toller Trail! Ich wünsche dir auf jeden Fall viel Spaß und tolle Erfahrungen.
    Beste Grüße
    Sasquatch

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    1. Hey Sasquatch,
      vielen Dank für die Ermutigung! Du hast ja auch nen ganz ansehnlichen Blog gemacht. Da werd ich mich in den nächsten Tagen mal durchwühlen. Über den PCT liest man ja immer gern ;) Darf ich fragen wie du meinen Blog gefunden hast?
      Gruß,
      Cheeseburger

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    2. Bei dem tollen Wetter hier in Deutschland die letzten Wochen und Monate hatte ich viel Zeit nach PCT-Blogs zu suchen. ;-) Wie Du schon sagtest über den PCT liest man immer gern... falls noch Fragen deinerseits bestehen meld Dich ruhig.

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  2. I like your writing style. Looking forward to reading about your grand adventure, best of luck to you. Don't miss the good cheeseburgers at elk lake resort in the Oregon cascades.

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    1. Hey,
      thanks for your interest in my blog! I really hope I get the time to update this journal regularly when I hit the trail in a couple of months. I'll keep that cheeseburger at elk lake in mind :)

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  3. Hi Cheeseburger!
    When is your start date? Team Turtle will be starting 4/14/14...See ya at Campo or at the Kick Off!

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    1. Hey there,
      looks like I'm gonna attend the kick-off and then start hiking when the party is over. Hope to meet you there!

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