Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/08/2011 15:14:48 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Another terrific write-up on 02/08/2011 19:45:08 MST Print View

I swear I took a picture of the exact same field of lupines near Three Sisters in Oregon.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/08/2011 19:51:44 MST Print View

Excellent report.

--B.G.--

Nicholas Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: Montanada
Another great write-up! on 02/08/2011 20:51:25 MST Print View

Ryan,
Awesome.

What more can I say but keep em coming.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/08/2011 21:19:42 MST Print View

Much more literate than most things here. Nuanced. Are you a professional writer? No need to answer. You are so by default. Understanding the foibles of pushing yourself very valuable. Reminds me of Jardine strung out with his wife on dicey footing. And the classic by Basho" The Narrow Road to the North"

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
"And that was fine. I enjoy the company." (I couldn't have said it better Ryan) on 02/08/2011 21:35:05 MST Print View

Me too. That is what makes the wild and wilderness so fun. The company of others in God's creation. I can't tell you how big my grin was the entire time I read this newest installment. It sure supports the guys comments above. You ARE a professional writer. I had forgotten it was Tuesday. Now I'm completely aware (and can't wait for next Tuesday). Another epic installment Ryan.

Edited by WarrenGreer on 02/08/2011 23:08:33 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/08/2011 22:12:05 MST Print View

A great adventure... well told.

Andy Schill
(Aschill) - F
Thanks on 02/09/2011 08:08:53 MST Print View

Thanks for sharing, I've really enjoyed reading these.

Maxine Weyant
(Maxine) - MLife
solo hiking on 02/09/2011 13:44:35 MST Print View

I've been a solo section hiker of the PCT for the last several years. It's very head-clearing, and it's become one of my absolute favorite things to do in the whole world! I really identified with a lot of the feelings and thoughts you've expressed and the lessons you've learned. It sounds like you beat yourself up trying to catch up to friends to recapture that earlier experience rather than just savoring the beauty of where you were at that moment.

After a couple of seasons, I started carrying a MP3 player too. Initially, I felt it seemed somehow "wrong" but I found it really helped propel me forward when I hit "the wall." It also took me out of negative thinking patterns, the occasional cranky mood, and the insipid jingles that would get stuck in my head from time to time. And the best part is that now when I hear some of the songs that I'd listened to on the trail, I can suddenly picture the view or section of the trail I was on.

Your photos really take me back there too. I had to bail due to fires at that same section in OR last summer. Great article!! Thanks.

Dys-feng shui-nal (trail name)

folec r
(folecr) - M
great read! on 02/09/2011 15:12:44 MST Print View

echoing the comments above - this is a great read!

> Wildfires were something foreign to me, their occurrence back home a rarity
> in the wet northeastern climate. But the few people I ran into near Mount Jefferson
> paid little attention to the clouds of smoke. They were just a part of the scenery, I guess.

You are probably guessing right. Most people I know would be disappointed but not surprised by a trail closed due to fire.

> A common replacement that I saw with dozens of people throughout the summer,
> however, was a multi-use piece of equipment that seems to be growing in popularity
> with long-distance hikers: the smart phone. Many people replaced their cell phones,
> MP3 players, cameras, and even guidebooks with iPhones or Droids,
> which meant less weight to carry and less bulk.

Less bulk, yes. What about reliability? one device is now the critical point of failure. Also, how do they deal with the low battery life? Carry spare batteries? Solar chargers?

Again, this is an excellent read. Thanks for the writeup.

Thomas Jamrog
(balrog) - F - M

Locale: New England
Blisters and fire on 02/09/2011 18:48:51 MST Print View

Your series is the best addition to this website I've ever hoped for.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: solo hiking on 02/09/2011 20:14:12 MST Print View

@Maxine: "It also took me out of negative thinking patterns," that is exactly what it did for me, too. Very good point.

@Folec: The best thing I saw for helping battery life was something like this, although the dimensions listed on this one seem larger than some of the things I saw. Using the electronic devices infrequently and recharging them at every town stop was easy enough, though. It's amazing how easy it is to find an electrical outlet when you need one. As for reliability... I never saw one break, although I have heard stories.

@Everyone else: thanks again. I wasn't expecting this much feedback on the articles, and I'm very grateful for it.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Very well written and insightful! on 02/09/2011 22:29:30 MST Print View

I really enjoyed reading this account of your PCT thru hike. I thru hiked in 2009 and am about to hike the AT this year. So your comments about how you felt when people asked "which is better?" are very interesting to me. The way you describe how trails change but people that hike them are the same is really an insight I have found as well.
I also found the hype regarding Fuller Ridge, the Sierra, Hat Creek, etc. to be way overblown. Anyhow you have re-awakened the fire in me to hike the PCT again soon.
Thanks for sharing this.. you are an excellent writer!

Patrick McNeill
(patmcneill) - F
Every installment I read makes me want to go hiking. on 02/10/2011 09:42:07 MST Print View

The mood of the piece captures the thru-hiking experience perfectly.

Jim Boatwright
(jimboat) - F
Reading this almost takes me back to the trail on 02/10/2011 11:16:05 MST Print View

I felt like I was back on the trail again. I well remember meeting up with you again at the CA/OR border and being amazed at how many miles you had already done that day. It's no wonder you didn't get up before dawn with the rest of us. Thanks for a great article Guthook. It is nice to hear about the rest of your hike.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/10/2011 20:15:21 MST Print View

Ryan, your words are taking me on a journey that I hope to walk some day as well. Beautifully done. Thanks for a fine piece.
Phil

Marco A. Sánchez
(marcoasn) - M

Locale: The fabulous Pyrenees
Moved on 02/11/2011 02:12:33 MST Print View

Upps! Wrong thread.

Sorry.

Edited by marcoasn on 02/11/2011 02:13:42 MST.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
PCT trip report index? on 02/11/2011 07:10:07 MST Print View

Webmaster --

Is there an index to these three stories? If not, why don't I see the other "parts" even mentioned in this write-up? Just seems a bit odd. Especially if someone were to come across the reports now. You'd never really know that there were two others in the series.

Jason Malone
(redwood22) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz/Scott's Valley CA
PCT on 02/11/2011 13:52:38 MST Print View

Great write up! Thanks for the time! You've inspired me more to plan through hikes.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Hiking Through Hyperbole!!! on 02/11/2011 18:19:58 MST Print View

Another great addition-Looking forward to the next installment.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Haste, solitude, and blisters on 02/12/2011 06:49:21 MST Print View

(preface: I hiked the PCT in 2009)

It's surprising how much preplanned meetups with friends/relatives along the way can destroy the fun of your adventure. I never would have guessed this before my thru-hike, but I found this to be the case for myself and nearly every other thru-hiker I knew who was meeting people along the way. Sometimes pushing to meet up with someone means abandoning hiking buddies for weeks as you ratchet up your pace by just a few miles a day. Then, you fall behind and spend weeks trying to catch up. When I do my next thru-hike, I will avoid making time commitments of this type.

I feel bad for the author about the constant blisters. Surely there must be a way to better deal with this problem? I only got one blister on the PCT. Maybe it depends on how much your feet sweat?

I enjoyed Ryan's discussion of solitude and the challenges it brings. You begin to understand very clearly your interdependence with other people.

Looking forward to the end of the tale.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: PCT trip report index? on 02/12/2011 17:51:04 MST Print View

I'm not the Webmaster! But..... just go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom left and you'll note the link "Features Archive". That'll get cha where you wanna go. I asked that question one time myself. -This article is but the tip of iceburg of quality resources available on BPL and why -M is worth every $$$. A trip index for archiving this story would be a great idea too.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Haste, solitude, and blisters on 02/12/2011 20:17:51 MST Print View

Richard, you're very right about friends from off trail making life very difficult for through-hikers, but then again, I wouldn't have given that up for anything. For me, it's all part of the adventure. Breaking away from one group of friends on the trail gave me the opportunity to meet others that I wouldn't have met otherwise, which I think was important in the long run, even if it was sad in the short run.

As for the blisters... yeah, I still don't know for sure what the problem was. All I can say for sure is that the tread of the PCT is very different from the tread of eastern trails, and the problem seemed mostly unique to me. Different people react in different ways to different conditions. My best guess is the heat and the sand had something to do with the problem.

Index: that should be easy to add. I'll point it out to the webmaster also. Cheers!

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: About guide books on 02/15/2011 07:16:06 MST Print View

Ryan,

What about carrying maps of the trail instead of guide books? I don't know if maps in the US have these trails indicated on them, but I would guess so. Getting the most recent copy and getting updates from the forestry people to me would seem a good base for a well guided hike. Then again, i never (really) hiked in the US, so I could be wrong.

As for iPod/Android do it all gadgets. How about making a PCT app that is a GPS guide, come town guide, come restaurant guide, come everything? Dinners, trail angels, accommodation along the way should be able to change their own data and forestry service can live update changes to trail sections. It would give you at the minute weather reports and by a touch of a button update your location on the trail, so your hiking buddies and people back home can see where you are.

Sure if your gizmo fails you lose all this gadgetry, but that was why you also put that map in your pack, wasn't it?

Any smart app programmers out there?

Eins

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: About guide books on 02/16/2011 05:44:42 MST Print View

Einstein, I think we'll see a lot of iphone/droid apps in the future that do just what you're saying. These guys already have something for the AT, but when you think of it, many apps for the iphone and droid are already great town guides-- Yelp, Around Me, Google maps, etc... Geared toward people driving through towns, but it works the same if you're on foot.

As for the maps, I don't know much about the Forest Service maps for the PCT. In general, maps for different trails can vary in quality from outstanding to completely useless. I didn't see anyone using the Forest Service maps for the PCT, so I'm not really sure how well they work.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: About guide books on 02/16/2011 06:26:19 MST Print View

What about carrying maps of the trail instead of guide books? I don't know if maps in the US have these trails indicated on them, but I would guess so. Getting the most recent copy and getting updates from the forestry people to me would seem a good base for a well guided hike. Then again, i never (really) hiked in the US, so I could be wrong.

A guy named Halfmile has a great set of maps for PCT hikers. They may very well be the second most popular publication on the trail this year, with Yogi coming in first. The biggest reason to carry the guidebooks is if you want to read about the history, geography and plant life along the trail.

As for iPod/Android do it all gadgets. How about making a PCT app that is a GPS guide, come town guide, come restaurant guide, come everything? Dinners, trail angels, accommodation along the way should be able to change their own data and forestry service can live update changes to trail sections. It would give you at the minute weather reports and by a touch of a button update your location on the trail, so your hiking buddies and people back home can see where you are.

Again, you can get most of that from Halfmile. Download his waypoints. Modify the waypoints with additional information concerning all that you want. Weather reports would be tougher, but Postholer's website has a cell phone oriented page that provides weather when you put in your coordinates. If you want live updates and have a good data signal, then you could probably do that with Postholer's online map.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: About guide books on 02/16/2011 10:38:46 MST Print View

Ryan, Eugene,

Thanx for the tips, but I am no where near planning a PCT hike in the near or far future (I hike in Europe). Sorry if I gave that impression. I was just wondering out loud why you didn't use a map and about the use of a dedicated app. That trail magic app seems pretty nice though.

Eins

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: Blisters and Fire on 02/20/2011 14:03:13 MST Print View

Great reports. For all of the rain you experienced, there were still lots of stunning photos. Thanks for sharing!