Full moon tonight. And it was a full moon my last night at home back in April, when I was looking up, already homesick, nervous and excited, wondering what I was getting into. Counting both those moons, and the ones in between, that’s ten moons. And since it was just the Solstice, and it’s the end of the calendar year and the start of a new one, here’s a reflective post about my PCT hike, and my plans for the future.
I’m feeling better about my accomplishment, and thinking less about my failure to complete my hike. I walked 1200 miles through the desert and the mountains of the High Sierra by myself. That’s something to be proud of, I think.
I haven’t had a lot of trail dreams (circling back to the title of this blog), but I have had a few. It’s like I thought it would be: it’s not a memory, but it’s close. I’m on “the trail” but part of my brain is still “wait, that’s not right.”
As for finishing, I’m not going to try to hike the whole thing in one year again. Well, maybe after I retire, but that’s a long time away. And I’m not going to try to hike the half I missed in one-go either. I really shouldn’t be gone from work for four months during field season anytime soon.
But, I don’t think I can rest easy until I have hiked the entire PCT. So, I intend to chip away at it, two weeks here, a month there, until I walk the whole thing. It’s not what I set out to do, but I think it’s something I want to do. Hey, this way I can go as slow as I want and enjoy it, and really nail the season that is best for that part of the trail.
We’ll see. When I do head out on the trail again, I will post about it here. I’ve been reading trail blogs again, and it’s getting me excited to go back out. I’m on the verge of planning a 10-day trip next summer. 150 miles?
I want to thank my Dad, for hiking with me, for the medical advice, and most importantly for taking me backpacking when I was a boy and instilling a love of mountains and wild places in me.
I want to thank Vito Almarez for feeding me and making my life so much easier in Tehachapi. I want to thank my Uncle Jay for meeting me on short notice at Sonora Pass with resupply and to take my bear canister away. I want to thank everyone who gave me a ride when I was hitchhiking! And Special Thanks to my cousin Bruce, who made it possible to wake up at a beautiful lake on the PCT, and be home in my own bed the same day! A Miracle!
Of course, Angel Kathy was indispensible. Without her love and generosity I would have been a really hurting camper, and probably would have come home much too soon to feel like I gave it everything I had.
You can hike the PCT alone, but you can’t do it by yourself.
As I’m posting, it’s Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas everybody! See you next year.
I won’t keep you wondering. Behind me in the photo is Dicks’s Peak. I think my right arm is covering where the PCT crosses Dicks Pass. Just above my right foot, above the rock, is looking exactly at where Dad and I camped by Suzie Lake last summer. I’m standing on top of Keith’s Dome.