Looking back and forward

Catching up on what’s happened recently and announcing what’s next.

Over the winter the ATC sent me a certificate of completion which managed to wing its way over the pond to the UK. It’s pretty nice to have.

In other AT news Cole Brian (Mowgli), a fellow 2016 AT hiker, put together this short video in which he pours his heart out to try and explain what it’s like to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. With his tone as much as his words or images he does exactly that and I wanted to share it as he expresses exactly how I feel: baffled by what we just did, disbelieving, amazed, changed, proud.

On the personal front, after continuing to suffer with plantar fasciitis since the hike I gave in and had a High Volume Injection into the sole of the foot, containing a combination of low-dosage cortisone, anesthetic and saline. The entirely unproven hypothesis of my podiatrist is that the decent results seen in using this to treat Achilles tendinopathy will also apply to my unusually recalcitrant plantar. Results so far – about 6 weeks later – are excellent. It may only last for a little longer and it will revert to type or it might provide the body with a break from the cycle of pain and enable it to heal in peace. We shall see. Either way I can get another jab in a year without risking rupture. Which neatly leads onto some news…

Today is my 3-year trailiversary of when I first set out on the AT in 2014, eventually to complete it in 2016 at the second attempt. It is therefore fitting that today I publicly announce that I will start a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in one year from now, April 2018, hiking 2660 miles from the US border with Mexico all the way up to Canada.

I’ve put up an overview page for the PCT here but it is a bit like the west coast equivalent of the AT although most of the challenges are quite different and in some safety-related cases are more significant. It is also somewhat longer than the AT though it usually takes people a little bit less time to hike the PCT as there is, thank goodness, slightly less average elevation per mile and it has easier footing (no ankle-twisting rocky Pennsylvania, yay!). On the other hand there are many icy and high (10,000-13,200′) mountain traverses in remote terrain requiring use of an ice axe and a traction device, hundreds of miles of baking desert and more rattlesnakes and scorpions than you can shake a trekking pole at.

More pages and posts to follow over the next year as I gear up and prepare for the next epic adventure!

5 thoughts on “Looking back and forward

  1. Sparky! This is a VERY EXCITING POST! Congrats on the trailiversary. Was really pumped to see you come back last year and knock out the remaining portion of the AT. ONTO the PCT. Whoa, Great! Can’t wait to hear your musings again. We only have to wait a year!? :-) Mowgli’s video was pretty sweet!

  2. Yo Bro – great to hear about the PCT first hand at dinner on the 11th April – your AT anniversary ! We all look forward to the next year’s prep and then the real deal.
    Go Sparky !

  3. Hi
    Great to bump into you the other day and hear before the others of your new adventure, I’m excited for you. I’ve booked to walk the Milford track in Queenstown NZ in Jan 18 so I’m looking forward to my mini adventure. I’ll let you know how my Shine walk goes in September. Geri

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