Two months, or 8 weeks, until I start from the border. And February is a short month, so really, 59 days.
I watched the 2019 PCT Water webinar last night (for the second time) and also the 2019 Sierra webinar. These are both invaluable resources for hikers on how to use the water report (www.pctwater.com) and also just general thru hiking strategy and safety tips.
I don’t think people realize what a logistical challenge this endeavor is, at least if you want to be smart and safe about it. That is one of the more attractive things about the PCT to me. It reminds me of my tour managing days. Plan, but be flexible. It’s a weird skill that I actually do very well when I want to.
Ok, that’s all I got. Just wanted to document the negative 2 month mark!
Did another full pack hike today out at River Place Nature Trail and my hip belt was great. Only 6.5 miles, but a ton of stairs and elevation gain (for Texas). All things considered, I felt great and it was, as the kids say, cake.
I think the last hike I was wearing my pack way too high. It was resting at the top of my iliac crest instead of being centered on it, which I think caused the massive chafing. I should have known better, but for some weirdo reason I didn’t.
I’m also posting this from the mobile app, since I need to start getting used to posting from the trail. So far it is taking forever to load just the first three photos. I’m not on WiFi, but still, not super promising.
The water was flowing a bit and it was a very pretty January day. Luckily it was a Monday (MLK Day) so the neighborhood association wasn’t collecting the $10/person/pet troll toll.
I’m posting this on Tuesday and am actually a bit sore. Gotta keep up the longer hikes. 61 days from Campo!
This will be one of the main trails I use for training the next couple of months. The entire thing is a 26 mile loop around the lake. Today I did about 9.5 miles total, out and back.
I went out with a full pack and a couple of pieces of gear that I hadn’t tested yet. The main one being my new Gossamer Gear shoulder strap pocket. I bought the medium one first, which said it would fit iPhone X models, but I guess they didn’t mean X’s with cases. I upgraded to the large version and it works great. Phone with case fits easily and my inReach Mini rides in the front mesh pocket, while my earpods (with their own waterproof case) hang off the side on a carabiner. I also brought my umbrella for the first time, but didn’t use it.
I also tried out a different anti-chafing element on my hips and I don’t know if it was the balm or a combo of other factors, but my hip bones got WRECKED on this hike. I’ve gone 10 miles with a full pack before and never had it this bad. I really hope this won’t be the new normal, as I might have to get a whole new pack. They don’t really hurt now, but they are bruised to hell. I’ll spare y’all the pics.
I’m going to get a pack shakedown this week from my buddy Mac, so maybe that will help some, though I don’t think weight is the problem. Mac might be going for his Triple Crown this year with the CDT (Continental Divide Trail). He’s already hiked the AT (Appalachian Trail) and PCT, so just has the CDT left.
The hike itself was great. It’s a super warm January so far. The high as I type this in my office today is going to be almost 80. Here’s a video and a few pics. Good wildlife on this hike.
Oh! Side note, I got approved for my Canada entry permit! Guess I did everything right. So now I just need my California Campfire Permit, which I can get online and I’m done with permits!
We went out to my parent’s cabin near La Grange over the weekend and took the dogs out on one of our favorite hikes nearby at Buescher State Park. Part of the park burned a few years back and the trails haven’t been completely restored yet, but it’s still a good 6 mile loop.
It wasn’t much of a training hike, as I just had my regular day pack, but it was good to get out in the nice January weather and get a hike in regardless. Every mile counts!
I also got my first hike with my new insoles (Superfeet Green) that were recommended by my sports doctor when I went to get my feet x-rayed to make sure I didn’t have a stress fracture. All was clear, but he told me my feet are a bit flat and those insoles should help in the long run. They felt fine, but I think I’ll have to size up when I get my new pair before the PCT. Hoping my feet don’t swell too too much because I think La Sportiva doesn’t make the Ultra Raptors in anything bigger than 47.5 and I’m at 47 now.
I’m also riding and working out on our Peloton at home 3-4 times a week, as well as doing core, lower body, arm, and full body work outs. I’m going to start adding some meditation. I bought Court the Peloton last Christmas and it really is awesome. We both use it almost daily. Highly recommend.
Now we’re all going to be like the Gatsbys right? With the beginning of the New Year, this hike is starting to get really real. I had a dream last night that I was starting at the Mexican border with a couple of practice hikes, but that won’t be the case. Once I get started, it’s on!
I’m going to ramp up the training this month and of course make sure I’ve got all my gear odds and ends sewn up. Among other things, I need to seam seal my tent to make sure it is fully water proof. Also, I’m taking a wilderness first aid course through REI at the end of February.
I need to find time on the weekends to get out and do some solo overnights to really test my gear and of course get used to being on my own. I’ll probably try to hit Lake Georgetown and maybe a state park or two, though the weather may dictate some of it. It’s been a pretty mild winter so far and it would be nice if that continues, but I have a feeling it might not last.
I’m hoping to get the blog to a point soon where I’m happy with the basic content. I’m sure it will continue be a work in progress though.