Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Going for a run - doing the Pacific Crest Trail

My plans have changed now and I'm going to go for a run so say goodbye to the Sierras.

Hemingway said something about cycling which really resounds with me...

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.

Enthusiastic cyclists are a bit miffed by the quote since apparently, Hemingway wasn't much of a cyclist and yet still managed to capture something of its essence.

I feel a bit the same about running the Sierras, what better way could there be of really getting a feel for the place. I'm sure John Muir would approve.

So right now I am frantically deciding what to take on a 2,000 mile run. I have some fine hiking gear already but I'm irritated to note that the modern stuff is lighter. Saving a lb here and there is, sadly, going to be worth it. Today I spent $130 buying trekking poles that are 9 oz lighter than my existing ones. Although this spending goes against the grain I can see that each lb, even, each oz, is worth shedding if at all possible. I'm not even planning to take a tent, just a bivi bag, nor a stove.

Reading up on lightweight trail food I bought some samples today of the kind of thing you buy from the bulk containers in Wild Oats. The humous was really good - just add cold water. The tabouli wasnt so nice. I have another 4 or 5 different things to try yet, and for breakfast I'll try oatmeal with cranberries for breakfast (with water).

I fancy doing ALL of the PCT (2,660 miles) but have made contact with some people who have already started the trail so might try to join them. I'm going to hate to miss the start but I think trail companions are the best safety feature you could wish for. It does, however, seem likely that I'll end up doing a lot of it on my own. I hope I get used to sleeping in a bag first though. I'm going to hate the thought of waking up with a bear licking my face.


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