April 4, 1982. '1st day on the trail' starts the entry in my journal. The rest of the day is described in the mundane terms normal for the first day of a long walk. There are concerns about route-finding, water, supplies, sore feet, sunburn - all those little things that sort themselves out in the first days and weeks. The only sign of enjoyment is in one sentence - 'But this desert section is superb'.
|At the Mexican border|
Of course I couldn't know just how significant for my life the Pacific Crest Trail would be. I wouldn't know that six months later when I reached the finish after 2,650 miles of glorious walking. It took years before the meaning and importance of this magnificent experience sank in. Long-distance walks are said to change you. The Pacific Crest Trail certainly changed me.
Two years ago I took my journals down from the shelves and finally wrote a book on my walk. Reliving the adventure was wonderful.