It was two years ago today that we got some news that started the process of us moving here. That was a good day. It has been a great two years.
Well, except for when our boy Skinny passed.
But Goddess found a bit of silver lining in that sad time and we’re chasing it.
In early spring of 2015, we are putting all of our stuff in storage (well, what we don’t sell beforehand), driving south to San Diego, putting the car in storage, then starting to walk north. If all goes as planned, we’ll stop walking when we get to Canada.
Looking at things right now, there will be no better time than 2015 for us to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
For those that don’t know about the PCT, it’s a 2,650 mile footpath stretching from the US/Mexican border to the US/Canada border (well, technically, the far northern end is 9 miles inside Canada, but the border counts). It starts in the Mojave Desert, then traces the spine of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, arcs through northern California, passes right by our little town here in southern Oregon, then turns north to follow the Cascade mountains through Oregon and Washington until reaching the Canadian border.
Something like this:
There is quite a bit of planning involved in this. I have already built spreadsheets like I haven’t built in years; Goddess and I have attended some excellent Wilderness First Aid training; and we’re walking and walking and walking.
But we are also aware that all of the planning in the world won’t survive the first steps away from the border. So we’re flexible.
We will be starting mid-April, which is a bit early. But we’ll be spending the first few weeks going slow. Many will pass us, but that’s not our concern. We’ll slowly build up our endurance and get used to the routine. As it is, our slow hiking may still get us to the high elevations of the Sierras too early. That could be a problem if this is a good snow year, not just for traversing snow fields at 10,000’+, but the snow-melt, which can turn the creeks and streams into impassible torrents.
If it’s a low precipitation winter for California, then we’ll have to ramp up our daily mileage quickly and try to push through California and Oregon. I saw too many thru-hikers this year that had to skip significant sections due to wildfires. If that happens, that’s what happens.
Then the rush is to make it to Canada by the end of September. Any later than that and we run the risk of getting caught in snowstorms at elevation. Not a fun way to end the hike.
Having said all of that, we have an agreement that there is nothing that says we have to finish it next year. The trial isn’t going anywhere and we know that unforeseen circumstances pop up, like injury and illness. We’ll assess those situations as they arise.
And since we had him cremated, Skinny will be along for the entire walk.
So that’s the nutshell for next year. We’ll see how it goes, we’ll share some amazing experiences together and we’ll push both of our boundaries. We’ll have good days and bad days, most often not at the same time, but we’ll share those days together.
And trust me when I say I’ll be scouting out areas for some extended photo shoots.