History of the PCT

Copy of "Scouts" 2013 PCT Communicator article autographed by an original "Relay Boy" Marcus Moschetto

Copy of “Scouts” 2013 PCT Communicator article autographed by an original “Relay Boy” Marcus Moschetto

The PCT was fist conceived by in the late 20’s early 30’s by Clinton C. Clarke,  as a continuous trail which ran from Mexico to Canada, through linking already established trails such as the John Muir Trail and Tahoe Yosemite Trail, The Skyline Trail and the Cascade Trail.  In Clarke’s attempt to lobby the federal government to protect the trail he enlisted the help of the YMCA that formed 40 teams of 3-5 teenage boys accompanied by a team leader (an adult) who would explore/trek and plan approximately 50 mile sections of the proposed trail.  The project began in 1935 at the Mexican border near the town of Campo and was completed in 1938 near Manning Park, BC in Canada.  A leather bound log book, and a small wrapped package (from a Mexican mayor to give to the Canadian representative – a pack of prized Mexican cigarettes) was passed from one team of boys to the next in the form of a relay.  Their log entries where not unlike the log/blog entries of current and former PCT thru and section hikers.

We had the pleasure and honor to meet one of the original relay boys, Marcus Moschetto, at last year’s  Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off (ADZPCTKO).  Moschetto  was a member of the 1938 YMCA Relay Team. His son, Marc was looking for a birthday present for his 90 year old father in the form of a printed copy of the original logbook for Team 38.  As cited in the Spring 2013 PCT Communicator in the above pictured article by Barney Scout Mann, “In the end, Marcus received two PCT gifts for his ninetieth birthday.  First, his son got him a PCTA membership. Second, I sent Marcus the typewritten text of the original logbook for Team 38…”  What Mann was unable to add, as it had not yet happened, was that Machetto aka. “Mosquito”, one of the first recorded trail names, was able to appear in person at the 2013 ADZPCTKO held annually at Lake Moreno in San Diego County and recount stories of his PCT relay adventures and actually read from the original log book.  What a treat for us to experience a living historical account of the forging of the PCT.  When asked if he continued his hiking adventures after returning from his team’s portion of the PCT, he replied, “No, not really…I discovered girls and that was that.”

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