14 responses

  1. Captainmouse
    May 27, 2013

    As this is Memorial Day I bet lots of people are out hiking rather than reading. I’m the stay-at-home spouse of Earlylite, but love to see the pictures and hear the stories. Based on your post I want to send him out to the PCT for my vicarious pleasure.

    • Grandpa
      May 27, 2013

      Can I go too? I’m not known as “Early”, however, the west coast is two hours behind me so I’m much earlier there!

    • Earlylite
      May 27, 2013

      I saw that! Comments such as this may be cited in future husband-wife negotiations.

      • Captainmouse
        May 27, 2013

        Ooooh Noooo! Now I’m in for it.

  2. Captainmouse
    May 27, 2013

    Karen, if you had to choose one of the trails to hike again and you could choose only one and you must take that hike, which would it be?

    Just trying to help you pick a fav.

    • Karen Berger
      May 27, 2013

      Kind of depends on the day of the week, but maybe the CDT just to see how much has changed — it would be a totally different hike today. Plus, I’ve done many parts of the PCT more than once, and the same with the AT, but not with the PCT.

  3. Gail Storey
    May 27, 2013

    Karen, as a huge fan of your books, I particularly loved this post–a great capsulation of your adventures on the three trails. I agree with your take on the PCT being a challenge emotionally, and I guess that’s why I loved it so much. People often ask me at my readings for my own book which was my favorite part of the PCT, so I can relate to the difficulty of choosing. The sandy expanse of the Mojave, steep snowy mountainsides in the High Sierra, rolling lava fields of Oregon, deep forests of Washington–all are contours of the heart.

    • Karen Berger
      May 27, 2013

      I have trouble picking a favorite part, too…. Maybe the high Sierra for me. But I also adored the Glacier Peaks Wilderness and the Three Sisters part of Oregon. My hardest emotional part was in northern California — it just seemed like we’d gone so far, and had so far to go – -and hadn’t even crossed a state line yet!

  4. Tom Murphy
    May 27, 2013

    Do you think an AT NOBO can still be completed with out the “culture” being a big part of it? How long you stay it town, whether you sleep at shelters, if you join a group,; aren’t these all choices to be made by the individual? The idea of finishing at Katadhin is such a strong incentive for a NOBO.

    • Karen Berger
      May 29, 2013

      Yes, but out of season. I actually started a slow NOBO in late January, and was not at all in the hiker culture for the first two or three months. Of course, you have to be able to deal with cold (which I MUCH prefer to heat….) You DO miss some of the deep south spring, although you get it in Virginia. You also mid mid-Atlantic heat, which is awful, and you do the Whites and Maine in summer, which is nice. (Depending on your speed — we went slow on the AT as a counterpoint to our faster PCT and CDT hikes). You’ll miss the NOBO hiker trash culture entirely this way — by the time the other hikers catch up with you (if they do), they’ll be thinned out. You’d have to start by mid-February — people are starting earlier and earlier.

  5. Your old roomie…
    May 28, 2013

    Twas my butt that was kicked 20 years ago on the AT in VA with KB and company… happy memories!

    • Karen Berger
      May 29, 2013

      As you can see, I still love telling that story…

  6. Dan
    May 29, 2013

    I haven’t hiked any of these trails but if I could do just one it would be the PCT. Not too crowded, not too remote and like you said, perhaps the most (best?) scenery per mile.

  7. Handlebar
    June 1, 2013

    What you’ve said about the taming of the CDT is somewhat true. I “chunk-hiked” it in 2010-2012 and noticed more trail infrastructure over just that 3 year period. I’ve always said that when I hike one of the three again it will be the PCT—-with my grandsons when I’m 80. However, I’m starting to lean more toward redoing the CDT and trying to do it all in one go.

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