I kept a journal on trail. I logged useful information such as that day’s starting and ending PCT Mile, daily elevation gain and loss, even the weather. I wrote about the physical and mental challenges I struggled through each day. I recorded the names of the people I met, and what country they lived in. I even wrote about the food I ingested. It’s almost surreal to read back the words I wrote while I was experiencing the absolute best (and worst) time of my life. It’s also surreal to have forgotten some memories that were sometimes the only thing I clung to during a tough stretch, and yet have every sensation of that said memory come rushing back as I read the words.
Food seems to be a center stone of many of my journal entries. On trail, it’s a coming together of complete strangers sharing stories of the elation you feel after conquering the trials and tribulations the trail has given you. A complete Zen feeling as you peacefully and silently eat your plain instant rice as you dangle your feet over a cliff soaking in a massive landscape of the mountain ridges, extensive forest, and alpine lakes in complete solitude just hours earlier.
Over the course of 2 pages, I went as far as to recording what I had ingested. While I can’t say I’m thrilled to admit to what I resorted to consume on trail, I’m quite excited that I managed to survive after having massive amount of troubles with keeping my food down.
Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, here’s some of the highlights of A La Carte PCT:
-Instant rice- overcooked.
-Instant rice- undercooked.
-6 packs of skittles in one day. (‘I can get half a package in my mouth at once, but it makes my eyes water, and breathing becomes difficult.’).
-Pulverized Pop Tarts. (‘It’s just powder. Awful consistency. Not pleasant to swallow.).
-1 badly bruised and half smashed apple. (‘why would someone put this in a hiker box? I should haven taken the fruit rollup.’).
-Oatmeal (‘is almost tolerable if you eat it while hiking.’).
-‘Multiple unidentifiable winged creatures were in my rice. I didn’t pick them out.’.
-Peanut M&M’s melted to dried mangos.
-5-day old Parmesan cheese and Salami (thanks for sharing Cannon and 9Toes! It was the most memorable lunch of my life!).
-Ramen noodles wrapped in a tortilla.
-Ramen noodles on peanut butter wrapped in a tortilla. (‘Would not recommend’).
Charred remains of a red Mike ‘N’ Ike roasted over a ‘campfire’.
-Peanut Butter scooped with my fingers (‘It’s almost like dirt sprinkles.’).
-1 packet of “Berry Flavoured” Gushers a little boy gave me while hiking with his family. (‘after several attempts of polite no thank-you’s, he said “It makes me sad you don’t want my candy. I immediately accepted them. Side note: I still have the empty wrapper.).
-Homemade dehydrated spaghetti sauce given to me by a woman who pretty much restored my faith in humanity. She also gave me homemade fruit leather and dehydrated apple slices. (‘I want to eat all the fruit leather in one sitting!’).