Saturday, March 31, 2012


For our bon voyage dinner, we went to our most favorite restaurant Fidel's. My parents, Seth and I all enjoyed way to many chips and salsa, chili rellenos, tamales, fish tacos and carne asada.

Food for 4?

Happy girl = Margarita in one hand and fish taco in the other

Cha! Cha! Cha!

Everyone left feeling a little full!

We start our thru-hike tomorrow at sunrise! I don't think either of us will be able to sleep much tonight, hopefully those margaritas will kick in!

No Details Left Behind

For me, one of the hardest aspects of planning our thru-hike was working out a comprehensive plan to leave with our contacts back at home. There were two categories I felt needed to be covered:

1) I wanted to ensure that all of our responsibilities (bills, dogs, etc...) were still taken care of while we were on the trail.
2) I wanted to make sure that we made our resupply strategy as straightforward and as simple as possible for those supporting us on the trail.

Now, I will organize, categorize and color-code pretty much anything I can get my hands on and Seth is good with numbers and lists, so we were up for the challenge! As a result of our efforts, we created the not so formally titled "Instructional Booklet to The Next 7 Months of Our Lives" .
Which includes:
  • Calendar
  • Gear Resupply List
  • Resupply Shipment Instructions
  • Log-in Credentials (to our various internet accounts)
  • Grandpup Instructions
The calendar includes most of the important dates my parents will have to pay attention to while we are on the trail. It includes the dates (approximately) that we should be receiving each resupply shipment and by what dates they should ship each package.

Gear Resupply List:
We went through and numbered each piece of gear that we might possibly need sent to us on the trail. In my parents living room, we sorted these items into categories like clothing, shoes, toiletries, electronics, kitchen, first aid and misc. gear. Our ice axes, bear canister, fishing gear and other section specific gear are also included.

My parents have this list in their "Instructional Booklet" and we will carry the same list with us on the trail. So, any time we need an item sent to us, we will simply contact them and let them know which item # we need and they can go into the living room and grab the item with the corresponding #.

Resupply Shipment Instructions:
We are having 19 package shipped or delivered (in person) to us on the trail. These packages will include our data/map bags and sometimes food.

We have created 19 data/map bags that include information from the Data Book, Halfmile's Maps and Yogi's Handbook for each specific section of the trail.

Each of the 19 shipments are listed in the "Instructional Booklet" with specific instructions as to what should be included in the shipment and exactly where and how to ship each package.

Login Credentials:
We left both of our parents with the login information for any important online accounts they may need to access for us while we are on the trail. We had any payments we still needed to pay set to auto pay. No hassle there.

Grandpup Instructions:
My parents agreed to watch our dogs while we are on the trail. We are so thankful and lucky to have such a wonderful place to leave our dogs, we know they will take good care of their grandpups while we are gone! In the "Instructional Booklet" I left them with some instructions on what kind of food they eat and when they get their Flea & Tick medications.

I know that this aspect of the planning process was a little overwhelming for me. We know that everyone will have a method that works the best for them and their support team, but I am hoping that this post might help someone with the planning of their own PCT adventure.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Finished putting together our mail ahead resupplies today! Kristin double checked each bag to ensure they ALL had enough hot sauce. That's 138 day bags of food. Just under half of what the two of us will need (we'll buy the rest as we go). The box in the bottom right corner of the photo has all of our maps and other trail literature broken up to be mailed ahead as well. Our private jerky supplier is still working on the rest of our order to be included in our shipments (thanks Richard!).

Since Kristin has been getting so excited, I'm posting this from our tent in the back yard. We're still getting used to posting with our Iphone so hopefully this works.Only 3 days to go...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Free at Last!

Today was Kristin's last day of work! Here she is with a celebratory beer. Now it's down to San Diego for one more week of prep before we hit the trail!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Counting Down With No Plan Except "No Flips, No Skips"

Well, here we are about to dip into single digits on the countdown to our start date!  With Southern California getting the weather it did last weekend, the last minute things we need to take care of and the angst of the last few days there is a rollercoaster of emotions we're both going through.  But we know dealing with the ups and downs are going to be a big part of the experience and are trying to embrace it all as best we can (the cold weather being the thing we feel most confident about at this point, but that can always change).

This thru hike couldn't be coming at a better time for us, and needless to say we are anxiously awaiting April 1st to hit the trail!

With the move of all of our belongings coming to a close, and the remaining few days to make last minute gear adjustments ticking away, Kristin and I have spent alot of time reflecting on how far out of our comfort zone we are stepping.  I'm sure alot of PCT hikers experience these initial emotions and second guessings that come along with making the possibility of this journey a reality. 

But hey, that uneasiness is probably why more people don't attempt this type of thing, right?  However, realizing that we would regret NOT attempting things like this thru hike much more than we could ever regret anything that might happen as a result of it is comfort in itself to knowing this is the right thing for us to be doing right now.

There are is alot of talk out there in the hiking community of how each person has to be realistic about their expectations for themselves and the trail while hiking the PCT.  This cocept of "Hike Your Own Hike" or "HYOH" was very interesting to both of us considering with so many things in life there is a "set" way of going about something, or many people would have you believe anyway.  So needless to say, when starting to research the trail we had it in our heads that there was a set way people were able to succesfully hike from Mexico to Canada.  Also needless to say, the more and more we read other hiker's trail journals and the other available literature on the PCT and long distance hiking, we found maybe as many different ways of going about hiking as there have ever been PCT hikers. 

So keeping this mentallity in mind, it made it much easier to find what worked for us, not to mention telling off the occasional REI or other hiking store employee for trying to tell us we were "silly" to not take items like waders and the biggest sturdiest boots available for the Sierras.

Along with helping us find what we think will work best for us gear wise, we were able to apply the HYOH philosophy to how we felt we wanted to strategically hike the trail.  This is not to devalue any other hiker's philosophy on hiking the trail, but we found that we could settle for no less than what (again in our opinion) we thought to be the best way to make this type of journey: "No Skips, No Flips".

What this means to us is that we are aiming to have a path of unbroken footsteps from Mexico to Canada.  Yes, we will leave the trail for short periods of time to visit family and attend the Kick Off, but will pick up again from where we left the trail.  If there is a detour that we must take, we will take it and make that our PCT.  What we will aim not to do though, is skip sections and come back to them later.  This is why we've elected to start early in the season and try to allow time for unforseen delays, injury, etc.  Not that we will respect anyone who does less or view their hike as "lesser" than any other, this is just what we hope to accomplish on our hike.  Every hiker is different wether they be a day hiker, section hiker or thru hiker and we hope to be able to spend time with them all.  After all, HYOH. 

People ask us what our plans are for after the trail, and to tell you the truth we don't have any right now.  We've always had one, and that' one of the reasons we initially felt apprehensive about making this commitment.  Quiting our jobs and having no real place to call our own was a big ledge for both of us to peer over, however, we're FULLY commited to this journey and hoping to learn alot from it by staying open minded and flexible.  Hopefully by the time it's all said and done we'll know what we might like to do next....wherever that might be.  But that's for the trail and those we meet along the way to help us decide.