Trailbound!

For those of you who have been to Philmont Scout Ranch, Trailbound is a special word. It means you’ve finally arrived, after many months of preparation. And it means that the next day is the start of your long awaited trek.

So, I’m using the word for my next section of the PCT. Needless to say, I’m a little excited.


Steve took me to the station early this morning, and I boarded the train for Eugene. I’m Trailbound!!!

Keeping My Journal

Most of the time, I have no signal at all when I’m on the trail. I do have a Delorme inReach satellite communicator, which I can use for brief texts, communication with the family, and Search and Rescue. But, at least for me, there’s no good way to do a daily writeup.

As a 50-something year old hiker, my thumbs just aren’t nimble enough to crank out several paragraphs every day. What I did last year, and which I’ll continue this year, is to record voice memos. I can share far more detail this way, and it’s fun to listen to when I’m back at home. I can hear the rain on the tent, and the rustle of me getting ready for bed.

So what I’ll be doing is posting frequent texts to Facebook, via my inReach. When I have signal, I’ll be able to share a few pictures. But most of my story will be written up at home.

Because my 2016 hike is split into two parts, I’ll be able to share at least some of my entries in mid-August. I don’t know if that’s tantalizing or not, but it will be pretty awesome to write it up and share it with you all.

Two more days and I’ll be on a train…

Preparations

2016-07-14 16.14.17

Dehydrated food. Ziplocs. Recipes. Mail orders. Counting. Averaging. Checking. Checking again. Wondering if my Snickers and M&Ms stash would survive a house of teenage boys (hint…they did). Toiletries, sundries, and meds, oh my. And this was just the resupplies.

You wouldn’t think food would take this much effort, but it’s a balancing act. How many days? How many miles? What’s the elevation gain/loss? Are there any hazards which might slow you down? How much nutrition do you need, and is it (kinda sorta) balanced? Do you have enough calories per ounce (100+ is optimal)? Do you have enough variation so that you won’t go bonkers?

And gear. New pack. New hydration setup. An umbrella (yes, an umbrella). Spraying Permethrin on every piece of clothing, in preparation for the notorious Oregon mosquitoes.

I can’t believe it, but it’s getting close. On Wednesday, Steve is dropping me at the train station, and I’ll head to Eugene. My longtime friend Robin is hosting me for the night, and in the morning she’ll drive me up to Willamette Pass. And then…it’s time for a hike.