The end of the PCT the Beginning of the Appalachian Trail
With 1,400 miles of the PCT completed, we left the trail and headed to Seattle. Sitting on the train as we made our way through Oregon, we felt dejected. Making the decision to leave the PCT due to fires, closures, and impending winter weather was difficult. We had come so far only to leave the trail and not complete it. The smoke outside was so thick, we knew we had made the correct decision for us but this offered little comfort. Our decision was further reified when we later picked up a PCT hiker at Steven's Pass and his friend was going back to Seattle because he was so sick from the smoke in his lungs and sinuses.
We drove West from Seattle planning on hitting up some National Parks on the way home. We began making plans to come back next year and finish the last two states of the PCT. Dates, resupply strategy changes, and all matters of logistics were being discussed. I began to think to myself, If we are going back, why not just do the entire trail? I told Stretch that I wanted to just do the entire trail again. Stretch looked at me like I was crazy.
After a few conversations and a couple of days to let the idea marinate, Stretch thought it would be good to hike the whole trail again. We both felt like we needed to take a break from the PCT. The PCT had been the main focus of our lives for about a year at this point. Everything that we had done, had been with the PCT in mind. It was time to let the PCT go for a bit. We felt burned out. Not on hiking or travel but just the PCT. This was the first thru-hike that we had attempted and as a result, all the planning, and anxiety on the trail had taken its toll.
Deciding that we wanted to do another thru-hike filled us with excitement again. Now we had some serious choices to make, what are we going to hike? We have had a couple of other trails in mind that we wanted to do. The Ice Age trail was one that we had been really curious about and had done some preliminary reading on. Several hikers that we had met on the PCT had hiked parts of it, but we had not actually spoken with anyone who really had any experience on that trail. The Arizona Trail was another option that had been on our minds. Again, we had done some reading on this trail but had not met anyone who had done it. Next, we thought about the Pacific Northwest Trail. These were all great trails, but none of them hit the nail on the head.
Sure why not? We thought the Continental Divide Trail would fit the bill. This warranted some more research, and it was one of the big three trails that comprise the Triple Crown of Hiking. The Appalachian Trail, The Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. This is one of the goals of many die-hard thru-hikers, and we would like to finish all three of the trails. We ordered Yogi's book on the CDT. Reading the first few chapters of this book made us realize that we were not ready for this one yet. The CDT is much more remote, longer, and has real predators including Grizzly bears on it. As Yogi put it, the AT is your undergrad, the PCT is your masters, and the CDT is the Doctorate. We decided it would be better to gain a bit more experience before we tackle this monster.
We decided to go for the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail would allow us to keep the same gear more or less if we needed. We could sharpen our skills even more on the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is one of the Triple Crown trails. Many people that we had met on the PCT had already completed the Appalachian Trail. A few people that we had met had given us a pretty good idea of what to expect on the Appalachian Trail. We had initially thought of hiking the Appalachian Trail before the PCT. We chose the PCT. Now It was official. We decided the next thru-hike on our plate would be the Appalachian Trail. Stretch and I are so excited. This just opened up a whole new avenue to direct our energy and gave us something to look forward to, after leaving the PCT without completing it.
Let the Adventure Begin.
As we write this we are already planning our trip to the Appalachian Trail. We have ordered books, gear, and more books. Stretch has developed a new work out regime for us to get into trail shape even better than before. We have learned a massive amount from our first thru-hike attempt and are anxious to share what we are doing to plan our hike. Follow along for the adventure, ask questions, add any knowledge you have, and share our trip. The Appalachian Trail is a different animal than the PCT in almost every aspect other than it is a National Scenic Trail. We will be updating our posts as much as possible as we plan for this hike and plan to blog as we hike the entire Appalachian Trail in 2018.
Follow our AT adventure beginning with our first post Preparing for the A.T.!
Our Adventure Begins Here!
- Preparing for the A.T.
- A Week on the Appalachian Trail
- Franklin to the Smokies
- The Smokies
- Angels on the Appalachian Trail
- Erwin to Damascus
- Appalachian Trail Ponies
- Rattlers & Dragons & Bears, Oh My!
- Deluged on the Appalachian Trail
- Rocksylvania & Bloodsuckers on the A.T.
- Hot Dogs, Italian Ice, and Big Apples on the A.T.
- Mayhem, Mohawks, and Mountains
- The White Mountains are Calling
- The Maine Event