Next Sunday I finally begin this hiking extravaganza. There’s a lot here to sort out, so I’ll take it one step at a time.
Part one will be from February 21 until March 1. Every winter my high school runs large backpacking trips into the White Mountains, and I’ve been asked to help lead one of them. This will undoubtedly be interesting, since I haven’t done much winter backpacking in many years. I was hoping to get into the winter hiking thing next year, but this will be a bit of a jumpstart. More importantly, it will get me off my ass and away from my computer. I always need a little push to start things going.
As soon as I get back from that trip, I’ll be looking for a ride to Philadelphia (no planes this time). I’ll be staying with a college friend, going to see a concert in the city, and spending some time sorting out my hiking gear. You see, I’m basically just throwing all of my equipment for the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail into a duffel (two backpacks, two sets of clothing, two foul weather sets, and so on) and sorting it out when I can focus entirely on that. My room here in Belfast is far too cluttered for detailed packing.
I’ll also be looking for a ride from Philly to Georgia. Another friend of mine lives near Atlanta, so I’ll stop in at her place to leave some things and hang out a bit, but before long I’ll need to hit the trail. These legs have been standing still for most of the winter, so I need some serious hiking to get them ready for the PCT. I’ll head North on the AT and then turn around to get back to Atlanta by the middle of April. From there, I’ve got plane tickets out to San Diego, and nothing to do but walk to Canada.
That seems like a lot of planning so far. And yet, it’s always the little things that are the hardest to deal with. Like remembering to take everything I need from Maine to Georgia, since much of my initial packing for the PCT will happen when I’m done with the section on the AT. And there’s those pesky rides down to Philadelphia and Atlanta. But I try not to worry about these things. I’ve got a winter backpacking trip to deal with first.