It’s getting closer and closer. Exactly one month left before I will stand at the border between Mexico and the USA. At this point I am finalizing my gear, planning my resupply, doing some daywalks and taking care of some last administrative issues.
Most of the needed paperwork is sorted out. My first needed ‘piece’ was an American B2-tourist visa which allows me to stay up to 6 months in America. Since mid-December I am in possession of this. After that I had to decide when I would like to start my walk. Last winter has been one of the worst in the west of the USA so it did make sense not te leave to early so I don’t have to wait out at the end of the desert to enter the high mountains of the Sierra. Mid June will probably be the earliest to enter the snow-covered mountains. Even then it will be a serious undertaking with risky passes to cross and high, raging streams to wade through. I guess I will have to wait till I actually hit the snow to see how hard it will be. So I decided that an early May start at the Mexican border would be a good idea. I will leave the border on May 4 and by doing so I will have about 35 to 40 days to cover the first 700 miles of the Californian desert.
If you want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail you need some permits. One of them is the long distance permit where you have to choose what your starting-date will be. Only 50 people per day are allowed on the trail. On January 24 the ratrace was on since everyone wanted a permit for their favourite date. The PCTA website couldn’t really handle all the traffic but after about an hour and a half I had the permit for my chosen date. Since then it all became more and more real that I would really take on this amazing, long journey.
Another needed permit is the California campfire permit which can be easily obtained through their website. And last but not least you need a permit to enter Canada. The PCT crosses the border somewhere in the forest so you actually enter Canada illegally. Therefor you need to fill in application which can be approved or denied. This is the only paperwork which I am still awaiting. One of these days… (these boots are gonna walk all over you…)
I booked my plane-ticket for May 1st. I will arrive in San Diego around 6 pm and will be picked up by Scout & Frodo or some other volunteer from their trail-angel network. Scout & Frodo are what they call ‘trail-angels’. Trail angels are people who take care of hikers in any possible way. Some give smelly hikers a ride, some will feed us, some will stock a water cache and some will even host you in their house. Scout & Frodo are top of the bill. They will pick me up at the airport, take me into their house, feed me and drive me to the Southern Terminus on the day I will start my walk. Americans can stay for 1 night, peope from overseas up to 3! I chose to stay 3 nights so I will have 2 full days to take care of some chores. One of these chores is about resupply. In San Diego I will buy all kinds of food which I will be mailing ahead off me. When I’ll be walking in the desert I will come to small towns with little or no possibility of buying food and then I will simply pick up my resupply-box from a post office. I am still working on my resupply plan and figuring out where I should send myself some food. One of these days…
Gear-wise I still have to buy some clothes but all the camping gear is sorted out. Some small repairs on my tent and backpack have been done. Last week I ordered my water filter and this will be delivered in a few days.
Since there will be masses of snow (and ice) in the high Sierra’s I will need micro-spikes and an ice-axe. I will order these once I’m in America.
Stay tuned for more updates!