Scout and Frodo will not host PCT hikers in San Diego in 2021
Barney and Sandy Mann, aka Scout and Frodo, have decided not to host Pacific Crest Trail hikers for the 2021 season, due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legendary couple provided lodging for hundreds of hikers at their San Diego home and transportation to the trail’s southern terminus in Campo, Calif. each season from 2006 through 2019. They had planned to host hikers one last time in 2020 before retiring, before canceling in March.
They announced in July that they would make 2021 their final year. But with continuing uncertainty over COVID-19, they announced they had changed their minds.
“Given the state of the pandemic throughout the U.S. and the world, the emergence of new more-transmissible variants of the virus, and the fact that vaccines will take many months to be widely distributed, we do not see any way that we can safely host hikers this spring,” they announced on their website in January.
The situation in California appears to be improving, Scout said in a telephone interview.
“For the past six weeks you read the daily paper and it was getting worse and worse, more deaths, fewer ICU beds left,” he said. “But it feels like it’s starting to turn the corner, and the vaccinations are getting out there.”
Even so, the couple’s 2021 decision is final and they have not decided whether to host one last time in 2022.
“We’re not shutting the door. But it’s a long time between now and then,” he said.
The couple is urging hikers to carefully consider whether this is the right year to hike the PCT.
“If you choose to hike in 2021, you must follow state and local guidelines; you may need to leave the trail and your experience will definitely be different from thru-hikers in the years before 2020. Please read the (Pacific Crest Trail Association) post on our ‘Permits’ page and seriously consider postponing your hike until 2022,” they wrote.
They have updated their website with information to help those who do choose to hike, including how to get to the southern terminus via public transportation, where to buy stove fuel, and advice for international travelers.
Featured image: Hikers hosted by Scout and Frodo pose at the southern terminus of the PCT. Courtesy Barney Mann.
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