Now Boarding: Our Journey to San Diego
Inching Closer to the Start
Getting ready to go on the PCT was a long-distance trail in itself. I think I would call it “The Bar Street Apartment to the Triplex Tent Trail.” It is 0 physical miles but 1000s of logistical stress miles long. People talk about the trail making couples grow close together, I’d say the same about preparing for the trail. Allie and I had to really rely on each other as we navigated the bog boards of insurance, moving, physical training, and buying hiking gear. Thankfully that is all done now and we are on our way to San Diego!
A Few Days Before the Trail
Allie and I did not renew our apartment lease in Arlington Virginia and moved out over the weekend before our flight. My Dad, and friends Alex, Matt, and Phil helped us move and we are super appreciative of their hard work. Because of all of their help, the move went smoothly. We stored our stuff at my parent’s basements so that we wouldn’t need a storage unit.
After the move, we stayed with my mom near Baltimore, Maryland. We stayed a few days there spending time with friends and family. It was really nice. Since the pandemic, I have had a lot fewer get-togethers than I wanted. I’ll look back on our last few days fondly.
One of the new challenges of this thru is leaving our animals. I did not have any pets of my own in 2018 during my AT hike and it was really hard to leave our cat, “Captain”, and our dog, “Lillie.” I can’t imagine leaving children or spouses behind and I feel extra blessed to be hiking with Allie.
Flying to San Diego
We flew out of BWI to SAN. We brought a large duffel bag and checked:
- Trekking poles
- Clothes for San Diego
- Douce of Spades (trowel)
- 1/8” sleeping pads
Everything important that we could, we put in our backpacks and brought them as carry-on items. I was a bit anxious about bringing our titanium pots and Allie’s LifeAF curve pack as a carry-on since it has metal rods as a frame. But thankfully, we had no trouble with security besides the really long line. Definitely make sure you arrive early at the airport if you are flying.
At San Diego
I’ve never been to the west coast and Allie has never been to California either. Looking out the window as the plane was descending, I was amazed to see huge mountains in the distance. Once we landed and got out of the airport, we were greeted by palm trees. But they are different from the ones in Florida – here they have a mass of plant matter near the fronds.
We went to call an Uber/Lyft from the airport and the price was $20, but we had to get to the other side of a busy road via a sky bridge and by the time we did that (five minutes), the price of both Uber and Lyft were at $40! Undeterred, we hailed a cab from the airport and our trip was only $15 before the tip. It’s amazing how Uber and Lyft are now often worse than traditional cabs. And with that, we arrived safely at our accommodations in San Diego!
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