Saturday, December 15, 2018

(almost) the end of the PCT


J stared in amazement as I tapped on the keyboard. "How can you even make a flight reservation for MAY?" he asked, horrified. He is from the Wing It school of adventure. He doesn't even start packing until the day he leaves, something that horrifies me. In contrast, I start building a pile of gear at least a week in advance. Then I revisit it, taking stuff out, adding stuff in. Invariably the forecast will change, leading to panic packing the night before. I am guessing this approach isn't much better.

Getting ready for Washington PCT, circa 2013.
I'm working on my last two PCT section planning. It is amazingly complicated when you are hiking between two 200 mile points. For one, the most efficient way to do it is buy two one way tickets, one to one town and the second from another. You have to calculate how many miles you will hike in order to meet the departing flight, hoping that a trail angel will appear to take you past some miles you already hiked. You have to mail a box of clean clothes to the last town so that you don't offend your fellow plane passengers. You have to figure out where you will resupply and when you might get there (I tend to go 100 miles between resupplies). For the last section, in the Southern Sierra, you roll the dice on a lower snow year and hope it will be accessible in June.
I don't think I bring this much stuff anymore. For one,  I have ditched the sleeping bag stuff sack and now pack the bag loosely in the bottom of the pack.
I've downloaded maps and studied them. I won't go as far as some infamous former Sierra trail partners who made spreadsheets of where camp would be every night. Going solo gives me a lot more freedom. But still, there are some parameters. I have to hike 20 miles a day, pretty much. I need to figure out where the big water carries are and to bring enough capacity to deal with those. I need to invite some trail friends to Horseshoe meadow to PAR-TAY at the very end ("party" being a relative term and probably consisting of cookies and maybe a toast). I must start planning now!

PCT completion medal. They put your "trail name" on the back. Can't wait to get one of these!

It's good to have something to do right now. A promising winter has given way to a glum not enough snow/too much ice situation. Adventures have been limited. The treadmill even made an appearance. My neighbor appeared from two weeks in Hawaii and looked depressed, like he wanted to go right back. That didn't sound all that bad, actually.

Monkey Bars and Flash, finishing Washington! 
It'll change. It always does. We just need to wait it out. In the meantime, I'll plan. May will come pretty fast.

9 comments:

  1. It's always good to look forward to something...that being much better than dwelling on the past ;-]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. I like looking back on previous adventures but as far as mistakes and regrets, I try to let those go.

      Delete
  2. So close and yet so far. Planning and preparation lead to a higher chance of goal completion. Nothing like making those last couple sections challenging logistically. You can do it, yes you can!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish I was a better planner ... perhaps then I would feel less bewildered about busting out of my routine. This week we're packing for a Christmas trip to Alaska, and I literally just pulled out a box that I packed up last April and threw that stuff into a duffel, with a few accessories that I use in the day-to-day. But I did it a week before the flight, in case anything was missing. So I suppose I am a plan-ahead person.

    What will you do with your adventure time when you're done with the PCT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh I don't know! I don't think I want to jump right into sectioning a long trail. Maybe I'll hike to Nome in the winter. Heh heh. Nope. Seriously, I know I will want to do something. Staycations don't do it for me.

      Delete
  4. Winter is a great time to plan summer adventures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, especially with rain. What is up with our winters?

      Delete

Hello out there. If you liked this post, please leave a comment so I keep writing!