When I moved to Oregon in August of 2009 I was touched profoundly by the expansive wilderness and beauty of nature in this part of the world. Since then and for about the past 3 years I have been dreaming and scheming about running the entire Oregon Pacific Crest Trail. A couple winters ago I even went so far as to start a Word document typing down all the details and necessities for the trip. The deeper I got into it the more I realized what a committed mission this would be, and with a newborn baby and other responsibilities in my life the Oregon PCT got moved to the "back burner".
In 2012 while on some of our many epic adventures
with good friend Brian Donnelly
the dream reared it's head once again and we started entertaining the possibilities of making it a reality in the summer of 2013. One thing led to another and next thing you know we talked with our respective families and put it on the calendar. The timing was good for me as my wife has a work-related conference in Chicago during the same week to offset my absence. My mother-in-law graciously offered to join them in the windy city to spend time with the little one too. Once we got the "green light" from work and family obligations Brian grabbed the reigns of organizing and scrutinizing blogs and reports, and tracking down some of the lightest gear out there. We bought a few pieces at a time and talked often about the maiden voyage.
Well the time has finally come! On Friday August 9, 2013 we will leave Portland, Oregon at 6 a.m. Our good friend Stephen Petretto is nice enough to drive us down to the California border as he is running the Ashland Hill Climb on Saturday. Our plan is to start running at noon on Friday August 9th, going from south to north, fully self-supported...going for the Fastest Known Time for the Oregon Pacific Crest Trail.
Brian wrote a high quality blog called Runpacking the Oregon PCT that I could not agree with more, and I invite you to take a look HERE
We will be able to be "tracked" via our SPOT Messenger by visiting this LINK
(starting Friday), as well as both of our Facebook pages.
Looking forward to an experience of a lifetime, and am grateful for all the support of family, friends, co-workers, & sponsors
for helping me attempt one of my dream adventures.
UPDATE: AUGUST 12TH- Unfortunately after about 175 miles into the trip I was forced to abandon the trip. I got separated from Brian during a resupply at Crater Lake, and then while trying to catch up to him I took a wrong turn. I continued on for another day by myself but calculated that I would not be able to catch him, and that I would not make the next resupply (the places are only open certain hours and we had a pretty structured itinerary). The straw that broke the camel's back was Extensor Tendonitis on the top of my right foot, and I was finally beaten into submission. I learned a lot on this adventure, and I did make some crucial mistakes which thankfully did not get me in more trouble. I may have underestimated the effort a little as well. If I try this again I will take what I learned and prepare better. I am so proud of Brian Donnelly's effort and I honestly don't see his record going down any time soon. Read more of his experience on his blog HERE.
("Runpacking" around Mt. Hood on the Timberline Trail. Photo: Siiri Berg)