About twelve years ago Amy and I fell in love with backpacking when we took our family for a short trip to the high Sierras. We had done a lot of car camping over the years and had been talking about how we would like to give backpacking a try. Someone told us about the High Sierra Camps, where you could backpack in and you could sign up to have meals made for your (breakfast and dinner). We figured this sounded like a good introduction to backpacking with our young children, so we got a reservation for meals only at May Lake and headed off for a vacation that sparked our passion for backpacking and our desire to explore remote areas of the Sierras.
A few years later, in 2011, as we were improving our skills and learning that taking less made the trips more enjoyable, we stumbled upon a blog by Erin “Wired” Saver who was taking on the PCT as a thru hike. Experiencing the PCT through her blog posts made both of us look at each other and say “we need to do that one of these days”. At the time our son was only 10 and our daughter was 12, so we knew it wasn’t going to be something we could take on anytime soon. So we made a plan, in 8 years when they were both starting college we could make it happen. Over those years our desire to thru hike the PCT grew but it always seemed so far away. Fast forward to 2019, where we found ourselves only a year away and plans to hike the trail started to fall into place.
On October 29, 2019 the PCT association opened up the first permit day for the 2020 year. On the first day they were releasing 35 permits per day and each hiker had to have their own permit. This was a little different for us as we were used to being able to put both of us on the same permit for any of the hikes we have done over the years. We knew there would be a lot of people trying to secure a permit and getting two for the same day might be tough, which meant we needed to have a little bit of luck. The permitting started at 10:30 a.m. and people were just randomly assigned a number in line. As the numbers were populated our lowest number was 650 followed by 3,300. Watching our place in line move across the computer screen seemed to take forever. About 45 minutes in, our first number came up and we found that our desired start date of March 22, 2020 was available but some other people had the same thoughts about that date. We had one permit secured and now had to wait for about 2,400 people in line in front of us to select a date. It seemed like time started to crawl along. As each minute passed our worry of not having the same start date increased and ideas of how we could manage that came to the forefront. About an hour and half later the second device entered the permit portal. Heart rates increased as we filled in the forms as quickly as we could for Amy trying to get to the date selection we needed. We were overjoyed to see that there were still slots for March 22nd. Everything seemed to fall in place for us, feeling so lucky that we not only got dates together but on the actual day we were hoping to start the trail (especially, since we found out all dates were completely filled by that afternoon).
Amy and I looked at each other both stating “OMG…this is HAPPENING!!!”. We then headed off to celebrate with a lunch together before having to head back to work. Oh yeah they don’t know yet that we will be leaving in March. More on that to come as we work out the details with our jobs. We can’t believe that eight years have passed and we are down to about four months before we start the trail. We have been in the process of prepping meals for the trail and will have more on that in the next month. We are excited to document our journey sharing the highs and lows with you!
Again thanks for reading!