Friday, May 11, 2012

Big Bear Hostel...

Well it is about 7:15 in the morning and I will be heading back out on the trail soon. I hiked 114 miles in 6 days, getting so much stronger. It feels so good to be getting into shape. I stayed at the Big Bear Hostel yesterday and last night. The PCT community is so amazing. So fun to just hang out with hikers all day and not be hiking. We all kicked in a little money, and bought some ingredients and had ourselves a hell of a feast. It makes being on the trail have a family feel to it. For 5 bucks we all ate until full and spent much less money than we would have going out to a restaurant. I am sitting at mile 265 and will be rolling into Wrightwood in about 5 more days because it is about 100 miles away. About half way to Wrightwood I will climb over Cajon Pass and you better believe I will be hitting up the Mcdonald's and Subway (only a mile off trail) as a halfway treat this week.... Miles 151-267 were pretty amazing. I climbed up and through the San Jacinto's nearly to 10k feet elevation, back down to the super hot desert with 100+ degree heat and to an elevation around 1800 and then right back up into Big Bear to about 8500ft again. I was worried before I ever set foot on the PCT that I would dread all the elevation climbs, but it is not that way at all. As I get stronger, I could care less about the elevation gains over so many miles. One thing I have learned about the PCT as a thru-hiker is that the PCT is a relatively "easy" trail to hike. The grades are like 15% max because the PCT is officially a PACK trail, meaning that it is built for pack animals. that means the entire trail is at a grade which horses and goats/sheep should have no problem. Don't get me wrong, you still may be climbing 7000 ft elevation over 10-15 miles, and it is a grind, but the trail itself will never be TOO steep. It ends up being lots and lots of long graded switchbacks to get you up and down mountains. Which is fine by me, leads to lots and lots of amazing view points!!! I have to give a huge thank you to my Mom and Dad and Step Mom. With a bit of "behind the scenes" drama, they were able to keep me calm and collected and focused on my goal, and mentally ready to move on and keep hiking forward. It is a weird thing, the hiking/walking is becoming the super easy part, it is all the other outside stuffs that seems to want to get in the way and put a damper on my mood, or drive. I am working hard at staying mentally strong and being capable of conquering all the battles that come my way, but I am very thankful to have such an amazing support team, with so many people that want to see me succeed. Thank You All.... ~Kristo

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