The Pacific Crest Trail Celebrated 50 Years as
A National Scenic Trail of 2,650 miles from the California Mexican border to the Washington State, Canadian Boarder. It normally takes six months to traverse the distance separated from family, friends, a job, homes, to overcome fears, regret, enduring pains, seeking water, dealing with loneliness at times while away from an established life. The trail is a humbling journey, one that will resonate with your mind body and soul for the rest of life.
But the reward of accomplishment, are memories of the journey, in between the two points, that will survive until the day you die.
Earlier this year in May, I attended the Continental Divide Trail days in Silver City NM with just over one to two hundred people in attendance. This three-day event drew at least two or three thousand people or more in attendance.
The organizers provided classes covering every facet of navigating and surviving the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to include presentations by past through hikers male and female to inspire those who desire to challenge themselves. A raffle was held with many giveaways, games being played and movies about the trail were a part of the entire weekend.
Equipment vendors were in attendance covering every need a backpacker could ever imagine. I, my self, surveyed one of the last two items I will eventually purchase for my comfort, which is a Sea to summit comfort plus insulated sleeping pad and an MSR two-person lightweight backpacking tent for backpacking longer distances.
There were many family members who arrive to cheer on their family and friends to continue their journey. I was fortunate to be seated at a table with Bernadette Murray-Macioce who is employed by Cascade Locks Oregon in tourism. As we talked about everything PCT, she commented on how she completed the Pacific Crest Trail on horseback in 1969 with her father. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of her accomplishment she is planning to ride a horse along the Pacific Crest Trail in 2020.
In my humble opinion, the age demographics at this event included a large number of people above the age of 50 with a group of ten to twenty between 70 and 80 years of age on the trail hiking at their own pace one step at a time. There is no age limit for hiking, as long as there is an ability, and desire anyone can hike the trail.
My desires for backpacking were ignited during my time as a Boy Scout in the 70’s and again as a Scout leader in the 90’s. However, in the coming months, my travel adventures will include photos of my backpacking trips. 🙂