Leaving Lordsburg, NM many thoughts raced through my mind, but the one that made the most noise was screaming: I’m so close and can't wait to be done. It might seem like a negative way to look at the end of a great trip, but after almost three thousand miles, the desire to be done was overwhelming. To add on to that, not only would I be finishing the Continental Divide Trail, I would also be completing my Triple Crown, which has been a dream of mine ever since hiking the Appalachian Trail back in 2011. The end had been a long time coming.
It is obvious that thru-hiking has changed a lot from the days of Earl Shaffer and Grandma Gatewood some of the first to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. But I was amazed by the changes I noticed in just the five years between my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2011 and my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in 2016. Below I'd like to take a closer look at the three changes that stood out the most to me. This isn't going to be like "back in my day we there were only uphills" or "back in my day it rained every day and was 100 degrees during the day and 20 below at night", but I will be looking at the pros and cons of these changes.