Hiking the PCT is not a right. It is an opportunity. It is a result of the good fortune that you have already amassed in your life. You find yourself with the grace of the time, the money, the support, the drive and the passion . . . at the trail head with a pack on your back. Northward, I say!
~From the welcome message – Greg “Strider” Hummel President of the ADZPCTKO (view complete What is PCT Ambassador)
We headed to the border of Mexico and California at Lake Morena State Park for our second year at the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO). My kids fondly call this my Woodstock. 🙂 About 1000 people attended this year. It was informative and great fun. We attended classes on snow mountaineering (need this in the Sierras this year), water sources, the history of gear, and viewed fun PCT videos.
I also visited some of my favorite vendors buying a new Stick Pic to replace the one I lost, a new ground sheet from Gossamer Gear, the video “Six Million Steps“, and more importantly got some really good advice and ideas.
Most of all, I was pumped that I got to meet some of the thru-hikers I have been following online: Erin (now Hulu), Wandering Dot, Jack and Barb (now Boo Boo and The Tequila Kid), Pound Hound and Garage Man, Mike and Sarah, and Li An and Justin. We also met quite of few new hikers we are excited about following.
During the event hikers had the chance to present their creativity and ingenuity with Making Your Own Gear (MYOG) Competition. The gear is judged and some pretty cool prizes are given out. Below Wandering Dot is presenting one of her 3 entries, detachable sun sleeves.
Okay… this is one of these moments in a thru-hiker’s life that just doesn’t happen (I was very flustered and caught it on video). At the vendor’s booth area, in one little setting, was… Billy Goat, the most famous PCT hiker, Dicentra, author of One Pan Wonders, Squatch, the creator of the Walked video series, Jester, creator of the Wizards of the PCT, and Yogi, author of the valued Yogi Guidebooks. My version of movie stars. VERY, VERY cool.
Oh and how windy was it at the border? I only ask this because I stood on one of the pillars of the monument during this most challenging wicked wind.