Wow, crazy things are happening.
I received my thru hiking permit today! A huge thanks to the lovely folks working hard at the PCTA office, thanks for answering my emails and helping me fix my fax problem. All of my permits and paperwork things are finally taken care of. I am kind of official now I guess, yay!
What else.. oh yes, a last minute change of gear. It all started with a facebook post from the lovely folks at the PCTA, and now this gal is changing her backpack less than a week before her hike. I was one of twelve 2014 PCT thru hikers selected to rock a Gregory backpack for the trip. I entered the giveaway thinking that I wouldn’t get picked, over 120 folks entered. So now I am a bit scared, as the pack they suggest is smaller than the pack I had intended on using. I put it out there for advice and thoughts from my friends, and they were all very positive. In the end I decided to do it. It will make me go through my gear again and pair down what I have, which makes sense. I have never been much of an ultra light hiker, I blame all those years as a trip leader… carrying a ridiculous pack is kinda what we do. An 8 pound medical kit? Yes please! I am pretty excited to receive my new J53, here is hoping it works for me.
One week from today I will be on a plane to California, it still hasn’t sunk in. As per usual, I continue to procrastinate packing. I have spent the last day filling my ipod with wonderful new music suggested to me by my friends. A mix of power ballads, folk, soul, bluegrass, and some good old mountain music, I’ve got it all. A huge thanks to Jared, the gift card was amazing. My ears and future motivation thank you in advance.
Yesterday I got the chance to talk with the lovely outing club at a local elementary school. Not only have they been excellent pen pals this spring, but the students and staff have hiked the equivalent of the entire Appalachian trail and are currently working on the PCT. How awesome is that? They asked a lot of wonderful questions, some of my favorites included “what will you eat?” and “what is your favorite card game.” They got really excited to check out my tent, everyone had a turn inside. One little boy didn’t think he could live in my tent for six months as it wasn’t as comfortable as his bed at home, very understandable. I also was told about some amazing new uses for my solar umbrella. Like to open and close it a whole bunch to scare away the animals or as a whacking stick for bad guys. Why hadn’t I ever thought of that? I have enjoyed my correspondence and I was really excited to share information about my old hut and tales of my upcoming adventure. My favorite part? A little girl saying very sincerely, “I hope you don’t get eaten by a brown bear.” To which I replied, “Thanks I hope that too!” Overall a wonderful experience.
Finally, Emmit, my good friend Elliott, and I all took a little day hike the other day. It was a great day to get out and work on breaking in my trail runners. While sunny and close to 50 degrees when we left the house, it was much colder in the notch. Crossing the lake was an epic adventure, thankfully nobody was blown away by the wind. Both Emmit and Elliott did great, way to rock your first hikes fellas.