Before 2011 I thought that people who thru-hiked long distance trails were crazy. Loco, bananas, batshit-crazy. Not because I viewed the task as being too extreme or difficult, but because I questioned why anyone would want to spend a whole summer doing one thing? Any one thing for that matter--I love hiking, but hiking for multiple months straight didn't appeal to me. I didn't see the point. The life that Becky and I already lead allows us to backpack every weekend, kayak, bicycle, take road trips and another very important component of life, have an income. Thru-hiking may sound good in theory but it seemed unreasonable when weighed against the alternative adventurous lifestyle we already enjoy. Despite this mind set, somehow during the summer of 2011, I found myself hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. And by somehow, I mean--Becky talked me into it.
Now, having experienced a thru-hike in all it's grandeur and hardships, I can tell you that long distance hiking is many things, and yes, crazy is absolutely one of them. But to me, there is one defining aspect of a thru-hike that is unique to an adventure on this scale. It is the pure simplicity of life while walking a trail. You get up in the morning, you walk, you set up your tent in the evening and you sleep. The rhythm of life is just that, rhythmic. It's predictable, peaceful and soothing. This calming atmosphere penetrates every part of your life, mind and body. All the day-to-day uncertainties of "real" life are removed, down to the most trivial part of ones day. "What will I wear today? Oh yeah, the same thing I wore yesterday."
Life while on a thru-hike doesn't seem as complicated. There is an abundant amount of time for your mind to wander and reflect. Combine this with the demanding physical activity and nourishing time immersed in nature, it all leads to a basic and fundamental state of mind--happiness.
Section 1 - Mexico to Warner Springs
Section 2 - Warner Springs to Idyllwild
Section 3 - Idyllwild to Big Bear
Section 4 - Big Bear to Wrightwood
Section 5 - Wrightwood to Agua Dulce
Section 6 - Agua Dulce to Mojave
Section 7 - Mojave to Kennedy Meadows
Section 8 - Kennedy Meadows to Lone Pine
Section 9 - Lone Pine to VVR/Mono Hot Springs
Section 10 - VVR/Mono Hot Spings to Tuolumne Meadows