The Wine Cyclist

Tag: Pacific Crest Trail

Keep On Walkin’

by on Sep.13, 2009, under Miscellany

IMG_0890Yeah, yeah… I’m a lazy bum. I’ve been hanging out in Seattle for a week and I haven’t gotten around to posting something until now. Sometimes I get distracted from such things, you know? A week was spent in the woods. It was fun. Oh, you want more detail than that, I suppose.

August 29th, I caught a ride from friends of mine in Portland out to the town of Cascade Locks, OR. That weekend there was a Pacific Crest Trail festival, with a few dozen thru-hikers and an assortment of other PCT-affiliated people. There was also beer. Tasty beer. By the keg. I met many people that evening, some of whom I even remember meeting (also known as the people I met before the kegs were tapped). The next day, after a ginormous breakfast in Cascade Locks, I crossed the Bridge of the Gods into Washington and began my walk north along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Despite being in good shape from all the cycling, it took me a while to get used to the whole backpacking thing. One uses many different muscles backpacking than you do cycling. The body as a whole also takes much greater impact. My feet, especially, were very sore from the plod-plod-plodding along, and my hips as well, from carrying the load of my pack. I worked many muscles while cycling, but since I was only really responsible for forward momentum and are not actually bearing the weight of the travel load myself, my legs didn’t take quite as much impact damage. Ibuprofen is a much closer friend to me, now.

So the first few days were relatively short (at least compared to the PCT thru-hikers, who have 4-5 months of backpacking under their belts at this point). I put in a couple 18 mile days, and a long, hard 23 mile day (that hurt), before getting used to things and settling nicely into a 20-25 mile per day habit.

The only reason I got off trail when I did was that things got very cold and rainy Labor Day Weekend, and I was camping at altitudes over 5,000 feet. I had rain gear, and some cold weather base layers, but I really wasn’t geared up for the extent of the temperature drop. I figured it was time to head coastward. So near Mt. Rainier, I moseyed my way to a road crossing and hitched my way into Seattle.

Enough talking. Here are some pictures for you…

View from Bunker Hill.

View from Bunker Hill.

(continue reading…)

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Trading Bicycle for Backpack

by on Aug.28, 2009, under Miscellany

Thank you all for the wonderful congratulatory comments on my last post. As much as I want to leave that picture up on the top page for a while, I figured I’d drop you all another post to tell you what I’ve been up to since and what I’m up to next.

I’ve been crashing with some friends of mine in Portland for about a week. For those of you who have never been, Portland is a very nice city, and I’ve only just scratched the surface with my brief time here. And yet, being back in civilization is strange. Fortunately, it’s not going to last. Tomorrow, I’m back out on the grand adventure bit. Only I’m not taking the bicycle…

The lovely red Trek FX that has served me well for 3,000 miles is taking a well-deserved break. Instead, I’ve picked myself up a backpack — a Gregory Baltoro 70 to be precise. I’ve loaded it up, and tomorrow I’m off into the woods! I’m headed over to Cascade Locks, OR for PCT Day. From there I’m walking north on the Pacific Crest Trail for a while, probably up to US 2. I know I’m encroaching on Russ Beebe‘s territory now, but I’ll try not to steal his thunder. In fact, I probably won’t be online much over the next few weeks to post updates and such, but I’ll tell you all about it… uh… you know… whenever I get back to civilization.

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