PCT Days 2021

This year, I volunteered for duty at the 2021 Pacific Crest Trail Days, an event held in Cascade Locks Oregon on the Columbia River. As we all are experiencing a world pandemic, I inquired about the protocols to insure the safety of volunteers and attendees.

2021 Pacific Crest Trail Days

Across most of educated America and the rest of the world, masks are mandated, strongly suggested and required if not vaccinated. The local and Oregon state health offered free vaccinations with volunteers wearing neon yellow vest walking around the event for two days handing out free masks.

It was anticipated the event would attract a smaller gathering of hikers which allowed me to feel comfortable helping to setup fencing the day before the event, and managing and monitoring campers staying on Thunder Island from behind a table with a bottle of hand sanitizer.

The 15 port a-potties, nearby provided a unique and funny sight of clean hands and forearms on the dirtiest of long-distance trail hikers.

Because of the smaller than expected number of people, I enjoyed the opportunity to win a pair of “Leki,” Micro Vario TA hiking poles pictured above. The aluminum and robust all purpose poles will be my featured companion.

Of course beer was sold by Thunder Island Brewery Co, and food was sold from four food trucks, with 90-95-% of the vendors and food workers wearing masks. I maintained my distance of 6-8, feet asking everyone I spoke to if they had their vaccination. Only two had not and were not planning to get the vaccination, and they were older attendees who were not hiking the trail.

Hyperlite ultra lite shelter

Many hikers sleep “cowboy-camping,” style, where one sleeps on the ground with a Ultralight shelter above staked to the ground and their trekking poles positioned across from one another to give height to sleep under. Because of the lack of rain recently, it’s a great idea until it rains. Many of the hikers carry between 15-30 pounds of gear on the backs including food.

Many of the backpackers have covered over two thousand miles, and the word comfort becomes an essential part of their life on and off the trail. So many of the hikers upgraded their sleep systems to full-size tents, sleeping bags or a sleeping mattress. Many took public transportation or hitched ride into Portland OR to buy comfortable boots and simple items like, pillows and socks.

One of the volunteers, a travel nurse from Utah who is taking 2-1/2 months off before returning to work, will hike portions of the Pacific Crest Trail towards Mount Hood in OR. He was born and raised in Tennessee and was excited to learn everything about the Pacific Crest Trail, including the gear he needed and decided to purchase. The comfort idea I spoke of became an influencer instead of carrying the lightest allowing him to enjoy the trail during his brief vacation. I’m sure he had suffered enough in his job and did not want the same on the trail.

I’m not a ultralight, enthusiasts because I’m not in a hurry and I love certain weighted comforts like a backpacking chair to end my day relaxing comfortably to enjoy a great night sleep. My Big Agnes sleep system pictured above and tent below provide shelter and comfort. Ultralight backpacking are for those in a hurry to cover many miles in a day.

After, the Pacific Crest Trail days, I will return to Mount Rainer for day hikes and maybe an over nighter or two before moving on to Olympia National Park.

By Expedition Nomadic Adventurer

As a retiree travel blogger touring the US, voicing my wisdom, opinion, and thoughts about the retirement lifestyle and life in general. I'm an aspiring pre-published indie author of baby boomer romance and adventures with a whimsical comedic side. I photograph wildlife and landscapes, mountain, biking, kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. I travel the back roads and highways of America, Canada, and Mexico, documenting my adventures via print and photography.

7 thoughts on “2021 Pacific Crest Trail day”
  1. I just started reading Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed. I have to say that the Pacific Crest Trail, in its vision and reality, is more than just a trail—it is an experience. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

    1. The novel is great but if youget the opportunity to attend any of the trail days hosted by the non-profits of the three major long trails, to include the PCT, AT and CDT. You can meet many hikers who will give you their insights. Thanks. 🙂

      1. I loved that book. I read it–parts of it twice–and saw the movie as well. Preferred the book, but the movie was good, too.

    2. Wish I had your energy, Nomad. I tried walking the trail up the mountain behind my house this morning but didn’t get far until I encountered a gate that wasn’t there the last time I walked there. Years ago, there was a big fight between the declared landowner and and Ijido, who also claimed to own it, that involved guards and soldiers with guns so I am loathe to walk there even though the guards and ijido folks who occupied the entrance back then are long gone and the development the supposed owner wanted to go in never happened. It was a great climb, though, and the dogs loved it. I’ll collect info and try again.

      1. I travel slowly compared to others who move hurriedly along with deadlines in their life. I choose trail destinations with the solitude and peacefulness to soothe any mind and soul.

  2. This looks like so much fun. What, pray tell, are pee rags? Reusable toilet paper? Seems logical, but a new one for me.

    1. Yes, Judy, you are correct! The word “Pee” caught my eye, and she explained exactly what you stated. As she spoke, Iimmideately thought of the commercial, advertising, “Handi-Wipes.” 🙂

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