Sunday, July 31, 2016

PCT product review

"It is difficult to find anything more healthy to drink than good cold water, such as flows down to us from springs and snows of our mountains."
Brigham Young


Water is a critical element of the Pacific Crest Trail journey.
In the desert, water was scarce.


In the High Sierras, water was abundant.



But in both venues it was necessary to filter water on a daily basis. The Sagan water filters, specifically the XStream water filter system worked well in both venues.
The XSTREAM system fit two major criteria for thru hiking. One, it was easy to use and two, it weighs only 5 oz.



I found the system easy to use where there was standing or pooled water (not always the case in the desert). It was more conducive to instances where the filtering and carrying of 2 or more liters of water wasn't required.

Coupled with the Journey water bottle, the XStream water filter system is an effective filtering tool for hiking.


Gilbert Martinez
PCT Class of 2016
ACE CPT
NASM CPT
Yoga teacher

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Training

"I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline."
Jack LaLanne

I've returned to Texas from my adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I return to not only Texas, but my personal training position at LifeTime Fitness.

I will continue blogging, but now with an emphasis on health and fitness.

I am looking forward to seeing those of you I have trained in the past and those I have yet to train. Please text me, call me, stop me in the street. I would love to share my PCT experiences with you. More then that I would love to hear what you have been doing, what you want to do, how your going to do it. Maybe there is an adventure we can share๐Ÿ˜Š


Gilbert Martinez
ACE CPT
NASM CPT
Yoga 200 HR Training

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This is the End

"This is the end
beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end..."
The Doors

And so it is, my PCT journey... Just past Sierra City I reached the 1200 mile mark. I knew I had reached the end of the trail. At that moment I looked up and a van was coming down from the Sierra Buttes trailhead. It was time to hitch back to Sierra City.... My journey complete ๐Ÿ˜Š



"I'm pretty tired....I think I'll go home now."
Forrest Gump



"Happiness is only real if it is shared."
Alexander Supertramp



Rabbit on the way home๐Ÿ˜Š

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Confessions of a PCT hiker

"Bless me Father for I have sinned"
Confessional prayer



There are moments on the PCT where an interaction with a hiker or hikers can change the balance of the day. I don't recall the time or day, but it was where the PCT overlaps the Tahoe Rim Trail. I came across a group of young boys hiking toward me. As they approached I heard the clear and rhythmic reciting of the Hail Mary prayer. As they passed, each boy nodded their head in acknowledgement, but continued reciting... Odd? Maybe. Different? Yes. Thought provoking? Most certainly.

It caused me to reflect back on my early years in the Catholic Church. Specifically the idea of confessing ones sins. As a boy I found it difficult to come up with sins worthy of confessing. In my little boy mind, it seemed that it was important to have a sin that would impress, but not offend the good padre.

But, all these years later. I must admit, I've done enough sinning to not only impress, but totally offend even the most seasoned padre.

So, many places I could go with this idea. But, what would be the point? Would I be redeemed and ready to trek on? I realized the folly of that idea long ago. My inly hope, wish, is that all those I touched will forgive me, forgive my folly, forgive my indifference, forgive me my sins.



Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
.............. Repeated 10x

Rabbit on the PCT

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Peace

"Instead of giving someone a piece of your mind, give someone the peace of your mind"
Fortune Cookie

The last few days on the trail have found me struggling to be at peace. And if the truth be known, I've struggled my whole life, with finding that feeling of peace.

Yesterday, I was climbing along a particularly steep section of trail up to Tinker Knob, when I was stopped in my tracks. A Cold Play song streamed thru my headset. The lyric, "I counted all my demons, and found I had one for every day", kept streaming thru my head. Mile after mile....



So, there it is, the struggle that goes on at this point of the journey called the Pacific Crest Trail. The physical challenge , the sensory overload, the mental demands.
Will the journey help me to define, deal with and cast away my demons.... That has yet to be determined ... As for now, I will hike on.......

The rest of the Cold Play lyric,

"I put the good ones on my shoulders, and threw the other ones away".....





Thanks again for reading.....
Rabbit on the PCT



My trail angel and friend Tom dropped me off at top of Donner Pass Summit. My old cycling buddy Ed just happened to be riding by the summit this Sunday morning.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bears

"Bears are not companions of men, but children of God, and his charity is broad enough for both. Yet bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters."
John Muir


I waited, but no bears showed up in the 1 mile area. Not sure they got the message.


One mile area is optional for bears in this area, but none showed up.


These two were just chillin'.


Now, this is a bear. My cousin Leon Martinez took this picture. Bear was hanging out around camp in Glen Aulin area of Yosemite.

Me? I've hiked 1100+ miles and not seen a bear ๐Ÿ˜



This marmot is as close to a bear as I got.

Rabbit on the PCT

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Procrastination

"By the streets of "by and by" one arrives at the house of "never."
Miguel de Cervantes

I've spent a life time on the streets of "by and by". Taken so much for granted, taken when I should have given, over-looked when I should have acknowledged. And now with all that, I have somehow found myself spared from the "house of never".



If I have learned even the slightest bit from the trail, it is, that life is worth living. Living with all the heart that is available. Living with all the love that is possible. Living with as little regret as possible.

I've been humbled the last few days on the trail. A few slips, a few falls, lost gear. I've called into question my "why". The trail has a way of testing the "why". That is as it should be.

Ask and find the "why".

I am learning every day...



As always, thanks for reading.

Rabbit on the PCT

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Living

"You gotta love livin', baby, 'cause dyin' is a pain in the ass."
Frank Sinatra

I've been thinking about "livin", mostly because so many are "dyin". Frank Sinatra was right, "dyin" is a pain in the ass.

There are so many reasons for livin' ...
A fellow hiker sent me this message found on the trail at Donner Pass .....



Knowing friends and family care...

"That's life"
Frank Sinatra

Thanks Jay, Carrie, Zachary !
Rabbit on the PCT

Kind day on the PCT

"Kindness will fill in the space where love has diminished"
Unknown

Yesterday was a magical day on the PCT. Launched by a perfect breakfast at Kennedy Meadows Resort. Followed by an easy hitch from Kennedy Meadows Resort to the trailhead at Sonora Pass. I was greeted by a friendly employee of Sonora Pass Resupply, who was waiting at the trailhead with a hot cup of coffee and my resupply box. The trail was soft and primarily downhill.



The day was filled with flowers and positive karma....

















Finished up with 17+ miles of easy hiking.


As always thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Possession

"If you possess something but you can't give it away, then you don't possess it... It possesses you."
Frank Sinatra

Yesterday was packed with lessons learned on the PCT. Exhaustion as a result of a huge mile day, found me at Kennedy Meadows (Sonora).



It was the descent down to Highway 108 & Sonora Pass that taught me about possessions. I was crossing an area where snow covered the trail for 20-30 feet and took a risky angle. In moments I was sliding and tumbling down a steep slope of snow and ice. My pack and I came to a stop just two feet from a huge drop off. Bloodied and disoriented I came to my feet.



A roughed up leg and a lost trekking pole.
Total lost for the 1st 1000+ miles, iPhone , sunglasses , trekking pole and some skin.

But, even with all that, I am living life, enjoying the world and looking forward to tomorrow. Possessions will come and go, but life, life has no guarantees.




Live like it counts, it does ....
Rabbit on the PCT

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Living

"You gotta love livin', baby, 'cause dyin' is a pain in the ass."
Frank Sinatra

Lots on my mind this morning. The trail, life, family. I've been taking zeros (trail term for rest days, no hiking) since 7-1-16. Visiting family in Merced.




Enjoying and revealing California to Tara (my gal).



Making arrangements to return to the trail.



"You gotta love livin', baby!"
I sometimes wonder if I am worthy of this dream I live. But, then I remember, I just need to live it.

Live your dream.... The answer will come.....




Rabbit on the PCT

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Looking Back

"Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you"
Rashi




Reflecting back on the last 46 days on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Arrived at Tuolumne Meadows, mile 942.5, on 6-29-16. It was quite a day, stood atop Donahue Pass at 1pm, stumbled into Tuolumne Meadows at 830pm, 30+ miles of hiking.

It was a crazy end to the Sierras and beginning to some zero days in hometown of Merced.

I zoomed into Tuolumne Meadows just before dark, hoping to catch the last bus to Merced. But, zoomed down the wrong trail, ending up in a high Sierra dude ranch! Me, a sweaty, smelly, dirty, PCT hiker, lost among a bunch of city slickers๐Ÿ˜

Not to be deterred, I pushed on, finally finding a road to hitch a ride. Boom! First attempt, I am picked up by a family from Norway in a motor home headed to Yosemite Valley. Lars (the son), handed me a Bud light as I took a seat and away we went. A great start.

But, things didn't go on quite as well as I had hoped. My Norwegian friends had been on the road for as many hours as I had hiked. So, they pulled into the first RV park with a vacancy on 4th of July weekend. Unfortunately, with no formal space to pitch a tent. The only available option was a teepee which I could use for $30 :(

So, with 30 miles still existing between me and my hometown, I cowboy camped between a couple of bushes.

Next morning it was time to hitch a ride home. Car after car buzzed by me without stopping. Then, trail magic happened, a car pulled over. The driver was a PCT hiker I had met a few days prior. He had been taking zeros to visit a girlfriend. Yes! I was dropped off at a breakfast cafe located across the street from the bus stop. A large breakfast and a short walk and I was on my way.

I am in Merced visiting family and friends.
It's time for some much needed zeros ๐Ÿ˜Š







Rabbit on the PCT