Hiker sets speed record for Pacific Crest Trail

Sure, it’s been a couple of weeks now, but this story is simply too remarkable to not be told again.

According to the Wend blog, 39-year-old Scott Williamson of Truckee, California officially accomplished my life goal of thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for an incredible 13th time. Ever since I was old enough to trace the dotted line of a hiking trail on a dirty paper map I have harbored a primal desire to walk the entire length of the 2,627 mile trail that runs from Mexico to Canada.

As if that isn’t impressive enough, this time he set the PCT speed record by completing the mountainous journey in an astoundingly fast 64 days, 11 hours, and 19 minutes. A quick trip to my calculator tells me that in order to finish the trail in that time, Williamson traveled at a pace of just over 40 miles per day.

Think about that for a minute. 40 miles per day. Every day. For over two months.

This, of course, doesn’t include various resupply stops that added upwards of 20 additional miles to what I would already categorize as a fairly lengthy walk.

Though this was his record-setting 13th time on the PCT, Williamson has also completed the coveted Triple Crown of long-distance hiking by trekking the 2,181 mile Appalachian Trail, as well as the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail.

As if you needed more reasons to be impressed, Williamson completed the entire journey with a bullet lodged in his neck from an injury he sustained years ago while working as a convenience store clerk. In what was seen as a potential gang initiation, Williamson claims the gunman shot him at such a point-blank range that the heat from the muzzle of the gun burned off his eyebrows.

Williamson’s new goal now that he holds sole claim to the PCT title? Perhaps to come back again next year and do it even faster–although this time, he claims, he may want to bring some friends along. It can get real lonely out there in them hills.

Photo {douglemoine on Flickr}