PCT Days 2014 Event Report
PCT Days 2014 Event Report
September 5-7, 2014, Cascade Locks, Oregon.
Pacific Crest Trail Days was bigger and better than ever this year. A record number of people attended, there were more sponsors and booths, and more thru-hikers at the event than ever before. Summery Columbia Gorge weather made for a perfect weekend.
The event kicked off Friday afternoon, and it did not take long for the thru-hikers to find the Next Adventure booth. Hikers visited with family, saw old friends from the trail, and opened their drop boxes and care packages while resting in the shade of the Next Adventure lounge.
The light grew longer and a spectacular near-full super-moon rose above the forested cliffs. After dinner, there was a dance party. Over 200 people camped on Thunder Island Friday night.
Ospreys, seagulls, ducks and a great blue heron were but some of the wildlife encountered at the event. Camping on an island in the Columbia River puts you right in the heart of the nature of the Cascades.
Saturday was the big day for the Gear Fair. The PCTA and ALDHA-West led hundreds of people across the Bridge of the Gods for a fund raiser in the morning.
It was a typically windy day in the Gorge. Even Smokey the Bear had to hold on to his hat to keep it from blowing away.
Andrew, Doug, Drew and Greg were there representing Next Adventure, stoking out thru-hikers, informing visitors about outdoor recreation, and supporting the PCT. Gossamer Gear and ULA packs were on display along with a table full of Outdoor School and Outreach brochures, coupons, and lots of shwag. The Next Adventure booth was flanked by the booths of Big Agnes and Mountain Hardwear.
The masses thronged about all day long visiting the sponsors exhibiting at the gear fair. A partial list includes Alite, Backpacker Magazine, Black Diamond, Boreas, Darn Tough Socks, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, Gregory, Jetboil, Katadyn, Leki, Marmot, Merrell, Mountainsmith, Optimus, Osprey, Outdoor Research, Ruffwear, Salomon, Sierra Designs, Soto, Vasque, and many more great outdoor gear manufacturers.
Local outfits such as Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Timberline Lodge, Mt Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood National Forest, the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Outdoor Viewfinder, Washington Trails Association, and the Port of Cascade Lock were also present to support and celebrate lightweight, long-distance backpacking and the PCT.
Lots of people attended the Backpacker Magazine-sponsored "Get Out More Tour" Backpacking Clinic. Whitney "Allgood" LaRuffa presented a class on "Hiking the Backcountry with your K-9 Companion" (as seen at Next Adventure!).
The gear raffle was a huge ordeal this year, with so many great sponsors contributing so many great products. Five lucky people went home with gift certificates from Next Adventure. Many more folks went home with a whole lot more amazing outdoor gear.
Saturday evening's entertainment included a screening of the documentary film "The Meaning of Wild", and a slideshow by photographer Jason Waicunas of Outdoor Viewfinder (and PCT Days event director), showing beautiful scenes from the many splendors of the PCT.
The Columbia River was almost as smooth as glass Sunday morning. The vendors broke down their booths as the PCT thru-hikers trickled out of camp and continued on up the trail. They still have about 500 miles of Washington to hike to complete their 2600 mile journey.
Happy trails to everyone that attended the event. We look forward to next year's PCT Days!
Next Adventure continues to inform, outfit and excite those interested in hiking, backpacking and enjoying the outdoors.
Check out these FREE clinics and presentations in Portland, Oregon:
September 9 - Lightweight Backpacking Clinic
September 16 - Walking the Camino Santiago
October 7 - Mushroom Identification
October 9 - National Geographic Athlete of the Year [at the PSC]
October 14 - Map and Compass Skills Clinic
October 23 - Circling the Cascade Volcanoes
Visit our calendar on NextAdventure.net to find out about more great free learning opportunities to inspire you and teach you the skills you need for your next outdoor adventure!