The first thing I realized when I got back from walking the Pacific Crest Trail and began trying to share my experience with non-hikers, was that MOST people would initially think that I set foot on the trail at the Mexican border and then didn’t come out of the wilderness at all for any reason whatsoever until I got to Canada. And their inspiration seemed heavily deflated when I told them I did. I stopped telling them (unless specifically asked .. I don’t lie, after all). Here are the top 5 questions everyone asks:
- How did you eat?
I wanted, really wanted, to say I foraged and hunted. Or fasted for six months. And then walked 25 miles every day. But no, I shopped at the grocery stores and sometimes mailed stuff ahead.
2. Weren’t you afraid?
I was terrified frequently. But most of us weren’t. Just me. But I had extenuating circumstances in place to terrify me, like an unnatural fear of heights, snow, and drunk hunters with tour bus sized archery equipment.
3. What group did you do this with?
Well, let’s see. There was Team Lone Pine, the Stone Boners, Team Weeds (oh hey, that’s me!) (and some guy).. And I didn’t actually walk with them. As a matter of fact, I rarely saw anyone on the trail. I became suspicious that everyone else was just shuttling from trail town to trail town and I was the only one out there. If it weren’t for a few existing photos, this would be my final understanding of what was happening.
4. Did you see any bears?
I did. I almost tripped over a cub. But, and I’m sure it’s because of my intimidating prowess and warrior like demeanor, they were afraid of ME.
5. Did you pack a gun?
This question always surprises me even though it is ALWAYS asked. I never know what to say except “no.”. I want to answer it with another question like, “Do you carry a gun every time you cross a road? Or find yourself in a city? Or when you go to a sporting event?” But people are funny about guns here and I know better than to poke them.
That “Cast of Characters” post is really coming.. there were a LOT of them ..