Names are tough, there is so much symbolism in them. We polled creative friends friends and went round and round on names for this space. There were some great ideas suggested but ultimately it came down to a combination of Lauren’s view of the future and Becky’s wit. Five months is the average PCT duration (~152 days to complete). Although we wish we were exceptional, and planning to finish at an above average speed, we know we need to start slow and finish faster. This means an average of 20 miles per day, ideally 3 mph for 8 hours minimum. Duration is the key to this ultra, not speed. We need to add more hours to our hiking day if we want to arrive at our destination sooner.
More hours in the day seems like fun when you consider ideas like night hiking in the desert and alpine starts to enjoy a sunrise, but the reality is Lauren’s health history indicates an average duration of 12 hours of sleep per night is needed. This means our ability to reasonably “accelerate” by adding more hours is compromised. We must master the art of transition to find our efficiencies. Master camp life through delegation to save time. We must think ahead to our resupply locations and move swiftly through towns. We must be incredibly deliberate in our actions and intention if we are to reach our goal with time stacked against us.
One axiom and one quote come to mind for us on this journey:
Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast.
“Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a shit how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced that so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one – you get those three, and you’ll be fast.”
Caballo Blanco from Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
Knowing the math behind our challenge we realize there are several cards stacked against us. The speed records on the PCT are from insomniacs. Not marathoners or people who don’t carry a pack, it’s the people with light enough weight who log long hours to earn their miles that break records at this distance.
Our five months will take us north to Washington, the place of our beginning. In some ways our trip is a journey to No-Where in that we end exactly where we started. In some ways our journey takes us to the wilds of the west coast, No-Where near a city. In contrast the journey will take us exactly where we need to be: living in the present moment and place. As we find these places of contemporaneous thought we hope to share them with you here on this blog. A place to check in and see “Now-Here” they are on their journey, both “Now-Here” and yet No-Where.