March 14th was the 2 month anniversary of when we left Dallas, flew to California and began a new chapter in our lives! Today marks the 2 month anniversary of when we started this lifestyle change and epic hike. No regrets at all. We couldn’t be happier with our choice.
It’s been a pretty uneventful 2 days (but very relaxing). We spent time resupplying for the the next stretch and watching movies (many of them bad but still fun) that we got from redbox😉. We also made another couple warm delicious meals using the convenient grill setup at the campground. One of the local park residents gave us fresh baked banana nut muffins too – so good!
Since not much to report, we thought we would do a few random things and reminisce on leaving Dallas…
The photo below is from our last night in our condo, March 12th. We had spent all day and night finishing packing, cleaning and painting so the place would be move in ready for our tenant the following month. We were also both recovering from the flu and were EXHAUSTED by about 10p when I think this photo was taken; however, that did not take away from our excitement and as soon as we were 99.9% done that bottle of champagne on the counter was popped! We sipped it and marveled at all the prep we had accomplished to leave. Rob tied on my second anklet to prepare for our journey and we caught about 4 hours of sleep before leaving to catch our early flight to LAX on Monday the 13th. One day before we began the trail, March 14th. You can clearly see how tired we are in the photo from the plane – but we were on our way to fulfilling our dream – and sleeping the entire flight!
On another note…I can not say enough good things about hiking in a skirt. I am in love with my purple rain adventure skirt. The material has held up to all the elements, never torn, dries SO FAST and is very breathable. It’s not restricting at all. The pockets are perfect too. It’s so easy to get to my phone and camera as I’m hiking along. Just the right height and the Velcro is very strong so if I want something tucked away I know it will be safe in the outer Velcro pocket. If you are considering a hiking skirt, look no further. I never hiked in a skirt before the PCT, but now there is no turning back. http://www.purplerainskirts.com/
Sleeping well and physically recovering every night from the day’s hike has been essential for us and even more so now that we are doing 20+ mile days and we head into the higher elevations above 8000ft. We invested, and I use the word invested on purpose, in a sleeping system that has worked very well for us. We each use an insulated air pad (Q Core SLX). When they are blown up fully they give great insulation between you and the cold ground. If it’s not a cold night, we can leave them a little mushy and they are ever so comfy. We went through a few different down sleeping bags before we finally settled on the ones we now love. They are 850 fill down, Western Mountaineering VersaLight mummy bags. They are super light as a pad and bag combination and super warm. We learned from a veteran hiker not to squeeze our down bags down into a compression sack for space, but to use them in the bottom of our pack just pushed down to take up all the nooks and crannies and keep them fluffier for when we get them out each night to sleep in. Add a dedicated tee shirt, short-johns for me and leggings for her, plus wool socks, it gives us something to sleep in each night that isn’t dirty from the trail. Since the floor size of our little tent is 50″ x 80″ the 25″ wide pads fit perfectly across the bottom of the tent in a fixed position and stay put. A must have for us was the 2oz squeeze balloon attachment thingie that blows up the pads for us each night. BTW, we don’t endorse these for money or anything like that. I truly write this so that people coming behind us or thru hikers next year can get a headstart on some of their own research. If you see ads on our blog also know that it comes from wordpress. I guess, as we grow in page hits per day, it helps them cover the cost of giving us the website / blog space for free. Try lots and lots of gear out before you take a big trip. We had three shake down backpacking trips to get ours just right. Well, mostly right. 🙂