2019 Recap

Not our best year

Too much snow, well worn body

After several twists & turns and lengthy travel by taxi, plane, bus, train, and bus… and a morning hitch because of a snowy overnight in southern California that delayed the morning bus …and a brief one-mile road-walk, we managed to reach the PCT trailhead at the US/Mexican border on Friday morning, February 22. After a convoluted 125-mile northbound hike dodging the snow and ice-cold rain we found ourselves heading into even more snow yet. Clearly, with an unusual two-month late winter with 150% of the December snowfall in February, we and the other early-2019 starters needed a better plan.

Some hikers opted to wait in place or nearby for weeks in hopes of better days; others skipped around, moving ever forward only to find more white stuff ahead again and again; some simply quit; we opted to flip to mile 651, Walker Pass, and hiked southbound on a generally snow-free PCT back toward San Jacinto / Idyllwild – enjoying a melt-off with plenty of water in the lower elevations and a mostly snowfree SanJac. Once that was completed, we, again, headed home. By this time the snow pack in the Central California mountains had increased to 200% and had continued with its winter-like conditions for ten days while we were safely sheltered at home watching the 65” Sony television; 650 miles done; and the entries on the PCT facebook page continuously confirming our wisdom. I dare say that 2019 had the most 'PCT-hiker-rescued' new stories ever recorded.

We felt unbeaten, but we were wrong.

While we watched the snow pack in Washington, which received less than 80% of its normal snow, we planned a restart in late June or early July at the northern terminus and hike southward toward Walker Pass. Somewhere between the 65" screen and the pool, Warren injured his right foot while simply walking. It was a mystery injury that seemingly never healed. Though a walker wasn't needed around the home there was concern that any money spent to get back to the trail in June might be wasted if the foot didn't want to travel. So there was NO addtional hiking - at all during 2019. The foot didn't really get better until October and was sometimes problematic even up to Christmas.