We start the trail in 8 days… Eeek!
If you’re coming from a foreign country to do the PCT, it seems a lot more challenging to plan and prepare your trip. Having to apply for visas, trying to find the best flight, buying equipment in the US and only hoping that it’s all the right stuff, and organizing food all add to the stress of planning. But I must say that having contact in the US make all the difference. We are so lucky to be staying with my (Kristin) cousin in Seattle so we can get ourselves organised. So far pretty much everything is in place (we hope), except one major setback is that we are still waiting for our passports to be returned with visas so we can leave the country this Friday! Crazy days!
How I’m (Kristin) feeling: A glorious mixture of emotions. I have never traveled out of my country (except driven to some of our neighboring countries), let alone survive 22 hours of flight time. I am incredibly excited about the adventure we are about to start, the beauty I’ll see, the people we’ll meet and just travelling with the man I love. I also understand what a daunting task the PCT is, and I’m sure reality will set in when we start walking, but I think I have what it takes to make it and I have such great support from my husband, which makes all the difference.
How we have prepared physically: It’s difficult to train for 8 (or more) hour hiking days. I mean, you have a career, and a social life to think of. So you definitely get fit along the way but a certain level of fitness is required to ensure you can cope with the first few weeks and not burn out or get injured. I for one have hip dysplasia which has now caused weaknesses in my glutes and quads, which predisposes me to injury, so training was essential to build up some strength. So we have been trying to go for regular hikes both with and without our packs, and I have been doing a strengthening program daily for the past few weeks. Steve has helped build my confidence which I’m so grateful for.
How we have prepared mentally: It’s important to me that I know what to expect. Lucky for me, Steve has already done a part of the PCT and has been able to give me a good idea of what I’m getting myself into. I know understand that its going to be one of the most challenging experiences of my life, and I will get very dirty, sore and tired (an important thing to acknowledge). I have been able to learn how to push myself when I’m frustrated and want to give up, to keep going. I have also learned that we need to take it day by day and not focus on the trail as a whole as that becomes too overwhelming at times. Lastly we have been putting a lot of prayer into this trip and I know God will be with us every step of the way, and taking time to worship and pray will restore us and keep us going.
So that’s what has been going through my mind at the moment, to follow: a detailed gear list by Steve 😛