PCT Completion Medal

I met Eric Ryback on April  25th this year while I was attending the 2009 ADZPCTKO .  Eric was the first person to thru hike the PCT, back around 1970 when he just graduated from high school. Prior to his hike, it was considered impossible for a person to hike the whole thing in a single season. Eric had also contributed a chapter about his AT thu hike in the classic, now out-of-print,  two volume Rodale Press set about people who had completed the AT. After that story inspired me, I applied for and received a grant that funded an outdoor exploration/ backpacking program that was targeted at potential high school dropouts.  I credit that program with saving the lives of several young people (who are now old ) whom I still visit with in Rockland, ME.

At the gathering in April, the  PCTA made public mention of a completion medallion that  would be available to those who had completed the Trail.  Eric himself put up the funds to produce the medals, as a way of honoring those of us who sacrificed time, money, blood, sweat, and tears to walk 2,656 miles. Mine arrived in the mail today. I wept when I held it.  I’ve never been above average at any sport in my life, but after 60 years, I feel like I’m king of the world.  Thanks, Eric.

9.3 ounces of beauty
Personal Inscription - reverse side

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