A few days ago I walked 18 miles for the first time- beating my record of 16 miles. I wanted to be at 20 by the beginning of the year, so I’m not too far off base. For comparison, at this time last year (also 2 months away from my start date) I was doing about 10 miles on my long walk days, and about 4.5 miles on my daily walks. I still had enough back pain then to be conservative with how much I pushed myself. This year, I am at 18 miles for my long walks, with a rotation of 4.5, 8 and 10 mile daily walks. I still have back pain, but it isn’t getting in my way too much, nowadays. It’s just a part of life, and I can deal.
Things are rolling along and I just don’t have as much to do as last year. I already have most of my gear—although I am doing some upgrades and will share my gear list a little later— and I am using less resupply boxes, too, and sending myself less food. Last year was over kill with the food purchases (I tried to be prepared for every scenario), and I think buying in town as much as I can will be the best way to go for me. Still, I will need things like medications, Leukotape, socks, etc. sent to me several times.
I’m leaving in March again, and I signed up for Mountain Education’s very $$$ PCT Snow Course, since I will most likely be hitting the Sierra in the early season. I’m dubious as to whether or not I actually need it (won’t I already have been hiking in snow by myself before I even get to their starting point?), but it’s all useful information, and will be a good story and change of pace to what other aspects of the PCT will be like. Also, Aaron was pretty clear that it would make him feel better if I did it.
This time right before the start date is the worst. I just want to be there already. I remind myself that I will be away from my husband and animals for months, and try to enjoy their company during this time. I will be sorely missing them on the trail.
I looked over all my posts from my section hike last year, and man, it was awesome to have those days written down to go back to and read. In fact, I’m so disappointed that I did not post my hardest, most hurtful days; like when I had to leave the trail. I really wish I had written it out. And other people would have liked to read about it, too.
This year I am going to make sure to write and share the whole journey on this blog. I will also be doing summaries/updates at Appalachian Trials. It’s a big commitment, but it’s worth it.
I hope you all will follow along, and stick it out with me. And a big thank you to those of you that have encouraged me to keep going, keep hiking, and tackle the PCT. It means so much to me!