This happened a while ago but… we finally got our permits! We will officially be starting on May 10th! Here are a couple of things that we have been working on in terms of planning:
Getting to the trail head:
So a couple of months ago, when we bought our plane tickets to fly to San Diego, I looked into how we should get to the trail head. The PCTA website suggests two different trail angels on their PCT Transportation Page. We basically eny-meeny-miny-moed and emailed Scout and Frodo. Their system is such that once you have your permits they will add you to their spreadsheet of hikers. We are currently two of four people that will be staying with them on the 9th and two of three that they will be driving to the trail head on the 10th. Also, since we applied for permits our date, May 10th, as filled up and there will be fifty people starting the same day we do! Who will they be? I’m very excited and nervous to find out. ALSO, in huge news, our friends Simon and Steph (Stink Bug and Honey Bun) from the AT will be flying out to join us for the first five days of our hike. We are totally stoked to see them and to have them hiking with us again.
We have made some big technology purchases. Mainly we got ourselves an iPad mini and a tiny keyboard that connects to it using Bluetooth. The whole set up is light, easy to use, and I am really excited to use it on trail. It is going to allow us to do some really cool stuff, namely post frequently to this here blog, but we have some other projects in the works. I can’t tell you about them yet but I think they are going to be pretty awesome and the iPad is going to be key in their production. Apart from the blog and other projects the iPad is going to function as a book for one of us, it has maps on it, all sorts of Aps for identifying birds and mountain peaks, we are going to be able to touch up photos on it before uploading them to the blog, we can download our favorite podcasts to it for leisure listening, there will be all sorts of music on there, bottom line the iPad is a useful tool. I was certainly skeptical about carrying that much technology into the wilderness, but in the end it is a useful weight saving tool and we really couldn’t keep the blog up and running without it.
We have been putting along in the food dehydration and buying process. We ended up buying a ton of different simmer sauces and curries from Whole Foods and dehydrating those to be paired with vegetables and rice. We have also been working on a chicken and dumpling meal, green and red psoles, and two different kinds of ramen. We continue to not test any of these meals, which already has Kyle tied up in knots. I really hope they are good once we get out on trail, or I am never going to hear the end of it… We were able to nibble on some mango ginger leather that I made and that was delicious. We have also been stockpiling snacks, granola, oatmeal, and other dried goods from the grocery store. Kyle and I admittedly have a favorite kind of granola and whenever they have it in stock we buy all of it. The cashiers always look at us like we are crazy. Speaking of stockpiling, we have also been obsessively checking our REI dividends to see if they have come out yet. When they do you know there is a huge REI shopping trip in order, where we buy as many freeze dried meals as we can get our grubby little fingers on.
Resupply boxes and mailing:
Something that is weighing heavy on our minds is how we are going to organize all this food we have made into resupply boxes. We are lucky that my parents are willing to send us our boxes so now it us up to me to come up with a system that is easy to understand but will also allow us flexibility with when we want boxes and how many days they will be for. We are planning on getting a click-n-ship account to make the sending process easier on my folks, and mini fridge to house all of our dehydrated meals that would potentially go rancid otherwise.
At this point we have pretty much all the gear we will need. Zpacks finally shipped us our 3oz tarp, my rain pants, and our sleeping pad straps. They are currently waiting for us in Olympia and I can’t wait to bust them all out and give them a try. Especially the tarp, which Kyle and I want the opportunity to practice with before we get out on trail. The only things we really have yet to figure out are a hip belt for Kyle, because his is continually loosening itself and will inevitably be too big for him once we start hiking. I think we are going to solve this by buying a women’s hipbelt from Granite Gear. We are also going to buy two nightlight pads from Gossamer Gear to protect our pads while we are in the desert and to hang out on and stretch on. At this point I am antsy to get all of our gear in once place and pack our packs. I want to see what our current base weight is and think about what gear can be jettisoned.
Memberships and other permits:
This last weekend we went on a bit of a membership spree. We joined the American Alpine club and donated to the PCTA. Planned for this next weekend we need to apply for our Canada Boarder Services Agency Permit and our California Campfire Permit.
Phew. A lot has been accomplished (and you don’t even know the half of it because I have secrets I can’t share with you yet) but there is still a lot left to do. All this prep and focus on the PCT is making both Kyle and I SO restless and antsy. We are both ready to start hiking and be done with this part of our lives. Driving back and forth to the city, hanging out on the bus, sitting and waiting to get places I have this tugging inside my chest to get out of here, to get moving, to start walking. On Tuesday I quit my second job in order to give myself more time during the day to work on preparing. It is always hard to quit a job but I am excited to have more free time and continue to focus on the most important work at hand, the PCT.
P.S. I am sorry that I haven’t been writing as much but honestly, a couple of big things are in the works and they have been taking up a lot of my time. You will know about them soon!