PCT NOBO 2018 to SOBO 2019, Almost a YOYO

Why hike back to back?

Everyone asks me why I would want to hike the same trail again in 2019.  Don’t I want to try something new like the CDT or the AT instead?  The truth is that I am not done with the PCT, and hiking it SOBO will be a completely different experience from the NOBO trip I took last summer.

My 2018 hike was not what I expected.  I started out in Campo, planning to hike home to Truckee.  Within a few days of being on the trail I knew this would not satisfy me, I had to hike to Canada.  The decision to continue my hike to Canada was easy, but the logistics about making that happen were not.

The Logistics of Extending My 2018 Hike

When I got home to Truckee I quit my job.  Next I went grocery shopping and created 14 resupply boxes to get me to the Canadian border.  I had to figure out health insurance since mine was supplied by my work.  I also had to figure out if I actually had enough money saved to finish the PCT.  Since I had decided early on that I wanted to extend my journey I kept to a strict budget.  I stayed mostly at campgrounds in towns and ate less fancy meals.

After two weeks in Truckee I was ready to get back on the trail.  The problem was that every hiker I had met was now two weeks ahead of me.  This made for some difficult decisions, and I decided to hike a few days with my friend Beth from Echo Lake to Truckee.  After those trail miles my plan was to flip up and try to catch my hiker bubble.

I ended up starting back on my NOBO journey in Burney, CA, and hiked NOBO to Canada.  I flopped back down to Burney and hiked SOBO to Truckee with my dog, Ace, to finish the trail.  Although it was not the hike I planned, it was pretty epic to finish in my hometown with friends, family, and a bottle of champagne.  The last two weeks on trail were mostly just Ace and me.  I had a lot of alone time to reflect on the journey as a whole, and decided that I had to hike it again SOBO.

Looking Ahead to the 2019 Season

SOBO sounds like the perfect PCT experience.  July in Washington with the snow melting out ahead of the rainy season.  August in Oregon at the same time as the NOBO bubble with lots of micro conversations to entertain me on the trail.  I will hit NorCal hopefully after all the heat waves.  I can sashay into the Sierra with no snow and no mosquitoes.  The SoCal desert in the fall sounds like a breeze with no heat and shorter days to wind down my summer of hiking.  I am sure it will just be perfect, or is that just my Sockstomistic attitude leaking through.  I can’t wait to get back out there on the trail that I love.

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