Thursday, April 2, 2015

From Campo to Canada:
Former Employee Hikes the PCT

One of our favorite long time ex-employees that many of you know is about to begin on an epic journey that will change her life forever. Anna Marini is hiking the PCT, the Pacific Crest Trail.

April through October is what it takes. Six plus months, 2600 miles.  That's an average of 15 miles every day. That is if you don't stop and take a rest day and if you never have to leave the trail to resupply. You carry everything you need to survive on your back. A light load is 35 pounds without water. A full load can be well over 50.

Winding its way through California, Oregon and Washington, the PCT is the most difficult, highest, and longest contiguous trial in the United States. If you start too early, there's too much snow. If you finish too late, again too much snow. The physical endurance, the resupply, and many other dangers all stand in your way. It is about as difficult an undertaking as there is. Only about 200 people finish each year.

Last year the movie "Wild" created quite a buzz about the PCT. Cheryl Strayed from the book, played by Reese Witherspoon, has brought a new-found light to this trail, backpacking, and the art of finding one's self.

I am also writing this because I am extremely envious of Anna and her trek. While spending a lot of time in California the last few years, I discovered backpacking. I have done several week-long stints in the back country with everything I needed to survive strapped to my back. Some of it on the PCT, the John Muir Trail and even off trail.

It probably seems like the worst possible way to spend a week for most people. In this there is a peace and beauty that you cannot find any other way. I am envious because I realized for me, as far as an undertaking like this, time has passed me by. I was planning to tackle the entire JMT - 210 miles - this summer until an injury forced me to abandon my plans. So I guess this is my in kind PCT hike. I hope I get many trail reports. She is even taking my bear canister on her journey. 

Anna worked for us for several years as a busser, hostess, concert oversee-er and all-around general personality. The last few years she has worked for the national park system building trails which has put her in "trail shape." From what I have read, every thru hiker is bestowed a trailname by their fellow thru hikers. What do you think Anna's will be?

She is starting in Campo, California in the next few weeks. It is the southern terminus of the trail. This is the week that most serious "thru hikers" start.

We wish her the best of luck. It is not only demanding physically but financially. Here is a link to Anna's gofundme page if you had any interest in donating to her cause.

Through the course of the summer and fall, we hope that Anna keeps us updated as to her progress and maybe even send us a picture or two. Good Luck Anna!

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