"New Year, New Me!" Well... Not really. If I were really writing this the way I wanted it would be something more along the lines of "New year... go fuck yourself!" (Been watching, and listening, to way too much Bill Burr these days).
So... that cheerful way of ringing in the New Year out of the way, what's in store for 2018 in terms of hikes. Well... I am not entirely sure.
A few months earlier, I was putting together a serious plan for attacking the PCT in 2018. I had a couple of things that needed to take place before I could sneak away for months, and it really looked like everything was going to come together. For starter, the big question was “What are you going to do about your bills?” Since I am kind of the primary bread earner at this point, I was thinking I would have plenty saved by then which would allow me to walk away from it all for a while, but I was also banking on the wife hitting in big in lotto scratchers, or landing another sizable gig to carry us through the hike. Reality is, my biggest concern was starting the hike with no health insurance.
As I sat and started to plan out my trip, I started also getting hits from new companies about new job opportunities. At first I thought, “I am not going to take anything… Stay the course and plan to hike in 2018.” The main reason I was steadfast on hiking was because I absolutely hated my job! I had been with the same miserable company for 7+ years, and was looking forward to tell them to go pound sand, while I took time to reconnect with myself.
Then it happened… I was approached by a company, and the offer was too good to refuse. I had told myself while planning, “Has to be a really sweet offer for you to go, and if you take the offer you’ll have to reassess the hike after a year.” And just like that… By PCT aspirations for 2018 floated away so I can save a little more for the next time around.
With the prospects of a 2018 PCT bid off of the horizon, I am now left with trying to fill my hiking schedule with a couple shorter hikes (Maybe even a few). The question now becomes “Which ones?”
I started thinking about short hikes that I might be able to complete in 10 days max. My initial thought was “John Muir Trail (JMT)”. This would be aggressive poke, as it would mean averaging 21 miles a day, at elevation, I would certainly soak up the full duration of my 10 days, and I am pretty sure I would be on my own on this one. So… I would solo thru hike the JMT! Sounds great to me, but that is a pretty hard sell with the wifey (Then again, any solo hike will be hard to convince her of). Regardless of what type of sorcery I would need to use on the wife for approval, JMT remains on my list as a potential hike for 2018.
Next on my list was the Lost Coast Trail. This would be a little on the shorter side (around 25 miles) and I would probably stretch this out as an out and back over the course of a long weekend. The Lost Coast Trail is one of the last remaining portions of U.S. coastline where you can still enjoy some back country hiking. Known for its beautiful shoreline, and many vistas, the Lost Coast Trail stretches on the northern coast of California, and offers a tremendous amount of wildlife. Another reason why I am interested in this hike is the prospect of sleeping on the beach. So there’s that…
There is also Havasupai Falls. This one isn’t much of a hike, but the scenery is supposed to be fantastic! This is one that has been on the list for some time, but just haven’t been lucky enough to land a lottery spot. The other good thing about this hike is… I’d be able to convince the wife to come along. She might not be into the idea of camping for a few days, but she is definitely willing to go for it if it means being at Havasupai’s beautiful waterfalls and bright turquoise pools.
(Totally NOT my B-Setting picture above)
More immediate plans have me staying in SoCal and trying out some of the local hikes. I was thinking I would spend a weekend hiking the cactus to clouds trail, and maybe stay the night at Little Round Valley camp site... Just because :)
Inevitably, I will end up back at Catalina at some point as well... just need to figure out when, and what path to take.
So there you have it… What do you think? Any recommendations out there on hikes that you have loved that aren’t super long?