Hike Distance: 8.0 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 16.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 522 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 1798 feet
So I was heading out to a road walk I had done before and the wind was so fierce that I had second thoughts and drove away. I went to another road that I know is shielded from the gorge winds, and I was right.
It felt fairly cold, and the mild breeze made it feel even colder. I was quite prepared but didn’t expect it. Cloudy to hazy overcast was the weather for the day.
Not a spectacular hike but these hikes don’t often have other hikers on them. I occasionally see some hikers but not today. Lately, I’ve been needing to get away from everyone and these hikes fit the bill. However, on occasion there is some traffic on the main roads, but it’s not too bad, usually.
I’m also shying away from the usual hiking trails as I’m needing some solitude. I don’t expect to feel this way for long but the winter months sure take a toll on mood, and the solitude is feeling pretty good. That being said, I’ve been seeing quite a bit of wildlife these days, and I’m sure the lack of noise is having this beneficial effect. I saw a doe and her fawn cross the road today but they disappeared quickly. I’m just not ready to take quick pictures these days and I also missed this one. I’m also not carrying my camera with the longer lens as it doesn’t have any weatherproofing. 😦 I’m carrying my Olympus TG-5, which is bulletproof in any weather, but not the best at spontaneous pictures. I consider the image quality to be slightly better than my Samsung Note 8, but it does have a better lens, and can zoom.
I’ve been preoccupied with my PCT section hike these days and I’m feeling so excited about the thought of being one of the backpackers instead of just a Trail Angel! I’m going to carry extra Starbucks Via Coffee packets to hand out, so I’ll still be providing some Trail Magic. It’s just too good a feeling to help the thru-hikers on their journey! 🙂
I’ve been ironing out what I need versus what I’d like to take, and it’s been very thought provoking. I know I can’t skimp too much on the necessities, but I will be carrying a Garmin InReach Explorer plus if there’s a real emergency. Food is a big deal for me as I don’t eat red meat and don’t enjoy the typical backpacking meals found at REI. I purchased a sampler from Harmony House Foods of their prepared gourmet soups and chilis. I’m optimistic that this is a great option for me, and it’s already been shipped. I’ll be having them for lunches over the coming weeks to see if I should order the backpacking kit?
I’m also anticipating the January 17 date as that’s when I can apply for my 500+ mile section hike permit. I’ll be starting either near Ashland or at the North Crater Lake Trailhead, both in Oregon. Oregon has the easiest terrain, for the PCT, and I’m also quite familiar with it since we typically go on yearly vacations along the Oregon PCT stretch. I really want to concentrate on improving backpacking skills for my first long distance hike. If everything goes well I hope to complete this stretch in 4 weeks, which would require an average of 18 miles/day.