I first hiked the Pacific Crest Trail over the course of 1994 and 1996, then I hiked the whole thing in one go in 2013. During the latter hike I kept this website updated as I progressed up the trail. I still have about 45 hours of video to edit, but in the meantime there is a lot for you to look at here. Over the course of the 168 days I wrote 143,823 words and put 13,644 photos on this website.
Woke up, with the dog hogging the bed. "Freddie... move... over!"
I went downstairs and had breakfast. It was the basic hotel breakfast of open up a #10 can, heat and serve. Cora was uninterested in it since she was looking forward to a proper breakfast later (and she only needs one breakfast per day, not two if the option presents itself)
Cora and I walked to the Palmer's Cafe for breakfast. We picked it because they had outdoor seating where you could have dogs at. Got there and it was basically a restaurant attached to a motel.
The breakfast was one of the best I have had on the trail. Freddie did good and slept underneath the table.
Passed a thrift store on the way back to the motel. Drove to REI to buy some things. I had "tips and nipples" on my shopping list. (Tips for my hiking poles, nipples for my Camelbak bladder...get your heads out of the gutter). They did not stock the tips and the guy said I could just return them. Eh ok. So I have new poles now even though I just wanted new tips.
Went and got pizza at Mondo Pizza. We went there based on two reviews. a) Yelp and b) A guy last night at our motel who was happily chowing down one of their pizzas on his motel bed. This morning we saw the empty box on the trash can and found out about Mondo.
I did the usual town chores like laundry and sorting crap in the pack. So nice to have clean clothes again.
Talked to my friend Kevin and we made plans to meetup on the PCT tomorrow night. I'll have to hike a little over 30 miles tomorrow to get to where he is. This will be good though since I'll have less pressure to hike a lot of miles to meet my friends near Cascade Locks next week.
Finally broke out the computer and went into that vortex of backing up photos, clearing memory cards, uploading photos, etc. Footloose was on TV. I chuckled thinking about that kid at Shelter Cove who lived in the conservative town dancing around Kevin Bacon style.
It looks like Anish broke the PCT speed record, but then a day later another guy named Josh broke her time by around a day. There is a lot of arguments breaking out online over the two hikes, because several newspaper articles aren't giving the full details of their hikes which is frankly, fucking annoying.
He did a "supported" hike in that he had a support vehicle meeting him at the road crossings. Because of this he didn't need to carry much weight. (some hikers told me he was hiking with a water bottle and nearly in underwear for some stretches, with a couple other hikers pacing him). He was also sponsored by Whole Foods.
She did an "unsupported" hike in that she did not have a support vehicle following her. This is the way that 99% of the hikers hike the PCT. Hence, this is also the reason the majority of the PCT hikers only care about Anish's record because it is the only one they can have any frame of reference for.
Every PCT hike that someone does is "supported" to some extent, to which you could go down a rabbit hole clear down to the point that someone built the trail for you or the fact that the US Postal System exists.
When people say "supported" though, it means having a support vehicle carrying your gear when needed and meeting you at planned intervals. There really needs to be a different set of terms used, which is why I say "support vehicle".
People have pointed out that Anish had people welcoming her at road crossings, but she could not plan on that. Especially at the start of the trip in the desert.
Knowing you have someone meeting you five miles down the trail changes everything about a PCT hike. You don't need to carry your gear. You don't need to carry 10 pounds of water. You can carry only snacks, etc.
At some points in the desert I crossed many roads yet still had to carry over a gallon of water, simply because I didn't have the luxury of having a friend meet me at all the road crossings with water and food. Anish didn't have this luxury nor did 99% of the other hikers on the PCT this year.
There is nothing wrong with the way Josh hiked at all, but to say that he holds the only record is disingenuous to both he and Anish. If he holds the "true record", his record will be forever suffixed with "yeah, but....". This is already happening now on the trail. Talk of Josh vs. Anish pops up everywhere on the trail and people think of it as two different records.
[Side note, apparently the previous record holder Scott Williamson is trying to break the unsupported record again, I hope he breaks it just so this support vehicle vs unsupported controversy would go away]