Things have gotten very REAL over the past couple of weeks. Especially a few Wednesdays ago, November 14th. What’s so important about a date, in the middle of the week, months before starting my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail? It was Permit Day.
Back when I’d first heard of the trail in 2013, the need to obtain a permit to thru-hike didn’t exist. Well, you did need permits for certain wilderness areas, etc. – and a permit from the Pacific Crest Trail Association covered most, if not all of these. Over the past couple of years, in an attempt to lessen the impact of the droves of hikers sauntering on the trail, the PCTA began implementing a 50 permits a day policy. I thought this was a great idea, to prevent a ton of hikers hitting the same towns and trail angels all at the same time and straining resources, until I was unlucky enough not to get my desired start date on permit day.
Heck, not even close to my desired date.
I did manage to nab a date three weeks before, during the middle of frosty March. I’m trying to console myself with the fact that sometimes March can be warm and not freezing overnight down here. I live in Southern California, and am familiar with the extremes in the weather and honestly that month can swing either way. More than likely, it will be cold. After a few days of teeth gnashing about my start date, I have decided that it’s not all that bad – after all I do better in the cold than in hot conditions while hiking. However, my worry is that I’ll reach the Sierra far too early to safely enter given my non-technical hiking skill set. What’s a girl to do?
Hike the hike you are given…
In the meantime, I’m logging in daily to the permit page online and hoping that someone cancels and frees up a spot closer to my desired date in early April. If not…well, I can always take time off trail when close to home and go back to work for a few weeks before starting out again. Not an ideal situation, but at least it is workable.
In the meantime, I continue to watch 2018 vloggers on YouTube, those that are still in the process of posting videos, while tweaking my gear for this Spring and mentally preparing for the journey.
Time constraints will keep me from blogging much, but I will try to do a daily ‘vlog’ on my YouTube Channel. Check it out and please subscribe to follow me on this adventure!