The Official Countdown Begins!

81 Days!  The process for getting a PCT permit is simple, but not easy.  In an effort to minimize impact, the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is issuing only 50 permits per day for thru-hikers starting at the Mexican border.  Although I’m not sure how they plan to enforce it, you are supposed to start on the assigned date, but with only 50 per day, it’s simply not enough permits for the number of people who want to thru-hike Northbound.

The permit applications are released in 2 phases.  On January 28, 35 permits per day were opened.  We got on the website to find it had crashed from all the sudden traffic.  By the time I was able to get into the site, the entire month of April was taken, and the majority of May.  So we waited until the second phase: 15 more permits per day released on February 13.  We had 3 computers and both of our phones at the ready.  We both made it into the site.  I selected April 27th, but by the time Paul clicked on the date (literally a second later), there were none left.  We both frantically started selecting dates, watching as one after the other filled up.  I locked in a spot for May 5th.  Paul clicked on it and there was still room for another, so he locked it in too.  It took under a minute for all the spots to fill up.  Phew!  Technically, we have only submitted our applications and don’t have a permit yet, but we made it in, so barring other issues, we will be starting on May 5th at the Mexican Border!

This winter has brought a lot of snow, so we will face some difficulties in the Sierra this year.  Although the start date we got is about a week later than we wanted, this is probably be for the best, allowing some more snow to melt and some of the stream crossings to go down.  We’ve been researching and purchasing some new gear for this trail, and I’ve been making a couple items as well.  I’ll post more on that when my projects are finished.

In other news, we won the Farm to Feet contest!  We were entered in the contest at Trail Days in Damascus last May.  In October we learned that we were finalists and people could vote on their favorites to win.  We won!  That means we are featured on the packaging of this years “Damascus” hiker sock from Farm to Feet.  Yesterday we took a trip to REI to see if the new socks are out, and indeed they are!  Thanks to everyone who voted for us!