With just under two months until my permit date (May 2nd), it’s easy to say that within every waking moment the Pacific Crest Trail is always floating somewhere in the back of my mind. It’s a lot to consider, 2,600+ miles of self-supported travel, across some of the most rugged landscapes in the country, but as I further my research and understanding of the goals ahead of me, I am always pleasantly surprised to find that thanks to generous people who have a bigger heart than I can fathom, this trip won’t be done alone.
Just within the first month (ish) of the Pacific Crest Trail, I am looking forward to meeting a few of these generous people, better known as “Trail Angels”, that offer their hands and homes in helping hikers like me find their way. I already mentioned the kindness of “Scout & Frodo” (who will be picking me up from the San Diego Airport and transporting me to the trailhead) – but as I’ve been doing my due diligence for my trip planning, I also came across two other volunteer organizations that are willing to host:
Whitewater Trail House, hosted by Ziggy and The Bear, will be one of my first planned encounters with Trail Angels once I hit the trail. Ziggy and the Bear have hosted 1,000’s of thru-hikers over the past couple years, and due to their strategic location in the hot scorching sun of southern California (mile 210 on the PCT), they will be a welcomed water-source relief for my relatively fresh legs. Just another 250 miles down the trail, I’m really looking forward to hanging out at Hiker Heaven in Agua Dulce, where I’ll be able to spend a night or two, meet some cool people, and resupply on rest, water and a general good faith in humanity.
If you haven’t checked it out already, take a look at the Trip Planning (recipe) post that went up earlier this week, which includes the three base items I’ve been using to plan out each day on the PCT: Craig’s PCT Planner, Half-Mile’s Maps, Wilderness Press Guidebooks and a PCT Data Book:
One of my biggest concerns for the Pacific Crest Trail has got to be the snow pack I’ll encounter while traversing the High Sierra Mountains of California. Avalanche worry, losing my step, losing the trail and just being sure to stay warm enough at night, snow causes all sorts of problems for PCT hikers. Although it’s unclear what the forecast will be like in June/July when I’ll be venturing into this majestic country, news reports like this: Storms Bring Rain and Snow to California – catch my attention pretty quickly. I hope the skiers have fun this spring but I’m optimistic that the snow melts in time for my trek into the High Sierras.
Finally, and briefly, according to the Huffington Post, “Best Time to Buy a Plane Ticket”, the best time to buy is on average 54 days before your departure. So if I’m flying out May 1st, and we do a little math here, this week should be a good window to pick up my ticket to fly.