Mark first mentioned hiking the PCT months ago. I've known all this time he was going to do it. Being an East Coast guy, the AT is ingrained in my mind as the hike of all hikes. But I've also hiked in the vicinity of the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado, and looked into it once as a future possibility. And when Mark first spoke of the PCT, I knew what it was and had an inkling of the route, knowing generally it would take him from Mexico to Canada, but that was about it. Then about a month ago, after reading Mark's blog for many months and having participated in many family discussions about the upcoming trek, I finally realized I had never even seen a map of the trail!
Thanks to the all-knowing, all-seeing internet, finding a map was as easy as typing "Pacific Crest Trail" into Google. And with a few more clicks, one can find almost anything he/she wants to know about the PCT.
For a map, I went to the official website of the Pacific Crest Trail Association. Here you can find maps, current trail info, the history of the trail, and some links to other trail related miscellanea.
Then there's the Wikipedia page. Thankfully, the PCT is apolitical and hasn't offended anybody, so the information there is probably reliable! There's a map, basic facts, info on the history of the trail, and some photos. I avoid the photos, because I don't want to spoil anything. I can't wait to get the first batch from Mark!
Do you like seeing lots of scenery in a short period of time while in total agony? The PCT can do that too.
Fun facts. I like the one about fewer people having hiked the PCT than climbed Mt. Everest. A select group! I think the same could be said about the number of people who willfully move to Delaware.
So what does the immediate future hold for Mark? Backpacker Magazine has a section-by-section overview of the trail. My computer isn't cooperating tonight, so I hope this is a good link. Starting just across the Mexican border, Mark will first have to conquer the temptation of discarding half of his first weeks' rations in favor of an increased supply of cut-rate tequila. Once past that hurdle, he'll spend a few days in the desert, but this is territory Mark has posted about in past, so he should have some familiarity. One day in late summer, he'll be picking his way through the snow and ice near the Canadian border dreaming of the steamy first days on the trail, but he won't really be looking back. He'll be looking forward to being one of the 180 of 300 making that initial border crossing in mid-Spring who complete the trail in 2010.