Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Odell Lake to Elk Lake - PCT

48 miles on the PCT from Odell Lake to Elk Lake. For this journey, I was helping the PCTA (Pacific Crest Trails Association) with some survey work. The challenge that faces the Pacific Crest Trail is the proliferation of hiking phone apps. The apps use GPS to tell hikers the distance to the next water source and camp site. Trouble is, fragile areas, often too close to water sources are being promoted on these apps. It's like putting up a billboard in a fragile area inviting people to camp there.

The app makers and the PCTA worked together to have volunteers like me go out and survey the camp sites listed on the apps. We were to target sites that were too close to the trail or water, take pictures and recommend the most troublesome ones for closure.

It was a nice trip getting out there in October to survey a section of the trail and hopefully help it heal a bit. I was out for three days and did not see or talk to another person. In fact, I very quickly started to develop a flee instinct when I heard human created noise. A couple of ATVs came to within about a mile from me and I found myself thinking about hiding. It was a weird feeling. Was I afraid? I just very quickly developed the sense that I didn't want to be around people.

The video shows the quiet and zen vibe of the hike:

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