Reflections on a Self-Propelled Summer

Karl Schmidt hiking the Pacific Crest Trail pictured here in the Mojave Desert

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

With winter weather the current reality it is a natural time to reflect on the past summer and its warmth. My past summer was spent walking across the US on the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2660-mile footpath from Mexico to Canada. I seriously soaked up the Sun in the Southern California desert, and more of it in the High Sierras, where above tree line the UV is as intense as the vistas. My legs grew strong and my appetite insatiable. The forests of Northern California provided shade, where they had not been logged, from the heat of mid-summer. By the 102nd day, I reached the Oregon/California border feeling I had accomplished something significant.

With my home state behind I raced on to avoid the chasing forest fires and the eventual winter in the North Cascades. Walking from one volcano to another the forests protected me where it had not been burned or logged and the sun was losing power at my new latitude. The rugged trail through Washington brought intense beauty, fall colors, and bliss that I was afraid to lose by completing my quest.

I reached the Canada border after five months of walking through the stunning wilderness of the Western United States. I experienced first hand the powers of geology, fire, water, ice, solar radiation, preservation and my human legs. Much of this walk I was very hot and exposed to the Sun, now in the cold winter of California (ha), I dream of the next Summer when I can once again toil in the heat and experience the natural world under the power of my body.

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For more about Karl and his adventure visit his blog: karlapie.weebly.com

Karl Schmidt hiking the Pacific Crest Trail pictured here in the Southern California

Karl Schmidt hiking the Pacific Crest Trail pictured here on Mount Adams

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