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2003: ADZPCTKO 5

Comments from Attendees

Paul "Mags" Magnanti (PCT '02): As I sit here in Boulder, I am still trying to come off my emotional high from this past weekend.

From the moment I left San Diego until, I had a smile on my face that would not go away. I have not seen some of my friends from last year since Manning Park last September. No matter, picked up the conversation without missing a beat. In addition, to seeing my PCT buddies from last year, it was great to put names to faces I only knew from register entries, and make new friends in the process.

It was also great seeing trail angels who helped myself and others so much last year, along with people I have known for a while now in the hiking community (tribe?).

A big kudos to the organizers of this year's KOP. What a great job!

Mixed emotions for me...it was VERY tempting to put on a pack and head north again. Esp. after walking a mile up the trail with Yogi and Gottago as they head to Manning again this year!

Posted some photos at:

My camera battery died before I could take more photos, but it does gives a flavor of this weekend's events.

Another successful start to the thru-hiking season...

Switchback: Had another great time at the Kickoff this year. I even stayed for the group picture, which is a first for me. My observations:

  1. Thanks to the organizers for all their work and dedication and putting on a great event. They even had name tags this year for registered folks.
  2. Tried to support the event by renting a campspot for myself and for anyone who need a place to stay.
  3. Did a little hiking north out of Lake Morena and around Boulder Oak Campground. Really enjoyed the hikes. Will do things like this again next year.
  4. Early Saturday morning had breakfast at the Lake Morena dinner/store and then drove to Mt. Laguna and had their blueberry pancake special at their very fine restaurant!!! Mt. Laguna is a beautiful place. The clerk at the store/motel said the snow or rain expected Monday. Neat talking to him about hikers.
  5. Thought Flyin' Brian looked very thin. I have several pounds I can give him if he needs to add some weight.
  6. Learned about alcohol stoves. Something to think about. Really nice people at the Kickoff to help you be a smarter and better hiker.
  7. Some thru-hikers made fun of my new 3-pound solo tent. Ha, ha, I will just take it back to REI and get a new 2-pound system. So, there.
  8. The silicone-nylon fabric for tents/tarps is making bivys obsolete. The TarpTent was by far the most popular tent. Very light and roomy. Good bye bivys for 3-season backpacking.
  9. The weather this year was great and not like last year.
  10. Lots of neat inventions, ideas, and products displayed.
  11. PCTA was doing a land-office business selling stuff.
  12. Looked like there were a little more people than last year. Maybe around 300, but I could be way off. I did a rough count at the auction and not everyone was there.
  13. When I arrived Friday morning, I was surprised at all the tents and people already there. The tent population seem to increase by half again by Saturday afternoon. Again, I could be wrong on this. I wish I had counted the tents.
  14. I learned something very important. My all netting tent philosophy is not too smart for keeping out of the sun in camp. Being a diabetic, my skin is sensitive to the sun. So I am going to explore the new GoLite Lair system. Still get the views but with good single wall light weight protection.
  15. Saturday morning made me think about dew and nylon. Really a wet wake up for everyone, at least on their nylon surfaces.

I still plan to go into Kennedy Mdws in June with a Pringle load for the thru-hikers.

Well, I better start redoing my lightweight backpacking system for the 2003 season after all the thinking and things I saw at this year's Kickoff.

Again, thanks to the organizers and best of luck to the class of 2003. Happy trails, Switchback