I've decided I am going to do this trail before I'm 50... so that gives me until 2016! I have been very pleased by the support of my family and friends. I thought for certain that they would have all kinds of horror stories they have heard and give me a bad time about going (you know... bears, bad guys, mountain lions, snakes...), but they are excited for me and think it will be a great adventure. I agree! It is great to have their support.
The picture on the header of this site was taken when I was 19 years old and had my first taste of the Pacific Crest Trail. I saw the PCT/JMT (John Muir Trail) junction when I was on a trip to Lake Italy in the Sierras. The shot was taken facing east looking at the Sierras in the twilight hours. The orange glow on the mountains is definitely not captured by my photography, that is an incredible site. God does awesome work! I look at this and other pictures from that trip and have great memories all the time. Lake Italy is just above timber line and this picture was taken in mid-July so you can see by the snow still on the ground that it is pretty high and chilly.
At that time I had kind of heard of the PCT/JMT trails but didn't know much about them other than that they were long trails. This was before the days of the internet so I couldn't just go home and get on-line and learn. I had to read books and do "old fashioned" research to learn about these two awesome long distance trails. What I found out about them sparked a desire in me to one day hike them in one season... "thru-hiking" I later learned it is called. Friends I had at that time kinda thought I was crazy to even go on any backpacking trip, let alone a trek the magnitude of the PCT. So I didn't pursue doing it at that time. Often I wish I would have.
Of course when you are 19 that is the start of your career, family and all that good stuff, so my thoughts of thru-hiking went on the back burner and became a dream. I worked on the Sierra Club newsletters and other back country materials in my job and that also gave me more information here and there. When on-line trail journals started coming on the scene I read journals for both the PCT and JMT and that helped to keep my dream alive too. So the Pacific Crest Trail has always been on my mind.
In the past few years I have not done much backpacking and have really lost my previous athletic good shape. I am working on getting myself in shape again, selecting my gear, figuring out what food I want to eat, etc. As I type these words I am excited that soon I will be putting one foot in front of the other on the trail and getting to finally realize my dream! I am very blessed.
On the PCT people get trail names either by others or they give themselves one. Usually trail names are based on something about your personality or an event that happens to you. I came up with my own trail name. I am still open for suggestions from others in the future... but of course reserve the right to refuse ones I don't like. :) I came up with the name "Puddles". I seem to always have water incidents while hiking. Incident #1: On my first solo backpack a couple years ago it was the first time I used a water bladder for storage and when I laid down in my tent I was using my pack for a pillow. The water tube was underneath and it started leaking in my tent, unbeknownst to me! I suddenly noticed that the edges of my sleeping bag were sopping wet because of a huge puddle in my tent. The entire contents of my full 3 liter water bladder was now a big puddle in my tent. Yikes!!! Incident #2: When I went to Lake Aloha I was pumping water and didn't pay attention to the pressure in my fill bottle and the seal thingy popped off and I got all wet. Incident #3: When I was preparing for my trip to Ebbetts Pass I filled my water bladder, put it in my pack and I thought that I had turned the drinking tube thingy to lock... apparently not because when I walked by my pack it was sitting on my floor in a big puddle of water! So with all those water incidents I knew I had to come with something having to do with water, so "Puddles" seems appropriate and it's kinda cute. I definitely need to get a handle on this drinking tube leakage thing though!!