Lately, the conversations between myself and Flash have included the following:
"Can you bring trekking poles on a plane?"
"I really don't know how all this is going to fit in my pack."
"I'm worried I don't have enough food."
"So. Much. Food."
"Are you bringing microspikes?"
"I'm putting my poncho in my Bag of Indecision."
You've guessed it, we are off to hike another two sections of the PCT. For some reason, I have packed and re-packed, second- and third- and fourth-guessed. One reason is because the trail ascends Mount Baden Powell, a trail so snowy that people have fallen and broken bones and had to be rescued earlier in the season. It is allegedly better now, but hikers are still road walking around it. Do we bring our microspikes and then have to carry the darn things the next hundred miles? Also, we are carrying seven days of food rather than spend the time it would take to hitchhike into Wrightwood, which 99% of hikers do. With a big water carry at the same time, I am eyeing my pack to figure out what I can dump.
Despite all this, I am looking forward to just walking for two weeks. As my PCT adventure winds down (I only have one more section after this), I want to think about all the different miles I've walked, and all the companions along the way, people like Cherry Pie, Short Cut, Man in Black, Beekeeper; and then all of the others whom I met briefly but won't forget for the moments in time we intersected: Continental Drifter, Diesel, Shepherd. I never set out to hike all of the 2,650 miles but somehow, it looks like I am going to.
I am rehiking about 60 miles I have already hiked, because Flash wants to and because it's challenging to bridge the gap up to the dirt road where Triscuit and I bailed in a snowstorm. It will be good to hike them; I still wish I had holed up in town to let the storm pass and hiked on. But there should be no regrets.
We have sent two resupply boxes and have a box to check at the airport (because the TSA says trekking poles are banned, although numerous accounts of those who have succeeded exist); I have a cork ball for foam rolling, KT tape for stuff that might hurt, two sets of insoles, camp shoes and a Kindle. Ultralight I am not. I plan to treat this section differently. Usually I rush through on a mission. This one I will savor.
I'll be back, friends, with desert stories to tell.
|Elevation profile of the first 112 miles, postholer.com|