Goals for the first section of our trek north:
Day 1: No Blisters
Day 2: No Blisters + not dehydrated
Day 3: No Blisters + not dehydrated + no sunburn
Day 4: find resupply point
Day 5: Repeat day three
We went for a walk around the block today. It was a stunning spring day with flowers everywhere. Our feet hurt and Lauren stopped every block to adjust her fancy new sandals. Apparently sandals designed by indigenous populations and built with modern materials are hard…. We are soft.
One of my favorite lessons learned while ski touring certainly applies to our upcoming trip:
“Finish faster than you start”
I hope our initial five day plan is enough to ensure that the presumption in Eric’s quote, that we will finish, comes to fruition.
Join us for a section hike! Check out the timeline on PCT Planner and pick a section. Use the drop-down on the left for different views and a summary. We are so grateful to have a few people planning on joining us along the way including Tom Nichols, Joan Johnson, and Nick and Ariel! Our hope is that you pick a section you are psyched on, let us know what pace you want to travel at, and we will join you with a bit of coordination. Send us a note and
Send a note and lets start to plan!
Travis loves Snapchat. Follow him on Snapchat for the next two weeks at travis.nichols. Packing food, stress, and piles of gear will all be posted since video is fun and Snapchat is likely his favorite new addiction.
Departure date is set for April 22, 2016. All of our San Diego friends are out of town that weekend so we connected with a trail angel who will provide us with a ride to the trailhead to start our hike north on April 23, 2016. Committed.
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.