PCT: Day 96

Miles today: 0

Trail miles sum: 702.2

Trail location: 1377.5

Elevation: 4363

Spinning on the turntable:

When we left the trail at Kennedy Meadows to begin our trek north I thought that I might be off the trail for less than a week.

It’s been two weeks. Time away from the trail hasn’t been restful to me. I’m tired as I return to the trail today. The time off trail (van repair(s) and illness) has been stressful. If we knew we had a two week block of time away from hiking we could plan something different…but the day to day death by paper cuts of waiting for a van repair, waiting for a package, waiting for an illness to recede just ground me down.

In many ways it’s our attempt to bridge van life and thru-hiking life. Each activity, in its own way, is somewhat exclusive. We’re trying to find the elusive “middle ground” that allows me to continue with the PCT thru-hiking attempt and allows Noelle more engagement than being a roadie. We’re both trying, but we’re both pretty worn out at this moment in time.

I followed up with the PCTA and requested that they update our permits to NOBO from Old Station to Canada and then SOBO from Old Station to KM. I saw murmurs online that the Park Rangers have started checking thru-hikers permits and doing a reality check of where you’re currently located on the trail versus where you theoretically should be located on the trail based on the permits start date.

The rumor mill murmurs not so quietly that a few hikers have been escorted off the trail by the Park Rangers to work out their permit issues before continuing their thru hike attempt. Lots of angst and heartburn for some folks, not so much for me. If the PCTA tells me I need a different permit, and all I need to do is ask them to help me, and they do the all leg work, why would I not obtain a different permit?

Talk to me about health insurance and I can get all fired up! Requesting an updated hiking permit? Not fired up at all.

Having hiked on parts of the trail in years past that clearly suffered from overuse I’m a big believer in the permit system. Folks really get their underwear in a wad over a permit.

I applied for and received a Canadian permit to enter Canada via the PCT. There’s no official border crossing there for non/PCT hikers. Canadian requirement. I think the Canadian border folks wanted to know my projected entry date, how long I’d be staying, how much cash I’d have and copies of my passport and PCT permit.

I have a simple rule for international travel: your country, your rules. If I don’t like your rules I can choose to not visit your country. Pretty simple. If I choose to visit your country I’ll follow your rules, even if I believe them to be foolish rules.

Again, so much angst on social media about a permit, but this time it seemed to be primarily Americans complaining. I know that I’m working on not being judgmental towards others on this hike, so I’ll just whisper something so that only you can hear it. ( Idiots )

We arrived at the Old Station trail head yesterday afternoon. The folks at Old Station Fill Up gave us permission to park on their property for a couple of days while we hike. The trail is about a quarter mile from here.

Noelle will hike north with me for a day and then hike back south to the van the following day as I continue to hike north. We’ll meet up again the following day. I think I’ll then have a four or five day stretch of solo hiking.

Yesterday afternoon we relaxed, read our books, did a little hiking and repacked our backpacks.

We grabbed ice cream snacks from the store after dinner. My desert didn’t sit so well and I soon felt seriously barfy. I went to bed, but got right back up to take a anti-nausea pill. It helped and I went to sleep fairly quickly.

I felt better by this morning, but still not great, so I turned off the alarm and slept in until 8AM. Today we’ll just stay here and see how the day progresses. I loathe the idea of returning to a hotel, but I equally loathe the idea of barfing into the vans chemical toilet.

I know that the trail will wait for me. I need to be healthy to start hiking it again or I risk injuries.

Knowing that I need to wait doesn’t make the waiting any easier. Maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime we’ll walk through the parking lot to JJ’s cafe and hang out. I hear they have good food but I’m much more interested in their free WiFi since we have no cell service here.

I just finished reading The Accidental President about Truman’s first 120 days in office. I enjoyed it quite a bit so I might track down another book like it. The book touched on Stalin and I found myself interested in him, so I might start there.


  1. Marycarol Page

    So sorry about all the delays. Hope you feel 100% soon. Happy 4th!

  2. Karen Huck

    Hope you both are feeling better soon and back on the trail. Health Insurance……let me get my soap box!!!!!!! I retired this year and paying for your own sucks!!!!! Something has to change.Karen Huck


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