I decided earlier this week that I would not complete the CDT this year for a number of reasons. The long thread in the decision has been my body. A week or so after finishing Colorado, I got hit with incredibly painful sciatica in my right leg. I’m in my final stages of recovery from that, but I’m not in a place with my strength that I would feel comfortable getting on the trail. I want to take care of my body. Next came news of the snow. When I heard that Montana, then southern Colorado was getting snow, I though that New Mexico couldn’t be far behind. The weather on the CDT has been tough for me. I don’t want to begin hiking in challenging weather that’s likely to only get worse. I’m targeting April 2007 to finish New Mexico, and, thereby, the CDT.
Since getting off the trail, I’ve continued to wander. I worked for a few weeks in the heat of Palm Springs in July, spent August enjoying Oregon, and have returned to Santa Cruz for some contract work for September. The work with Seagate should continue into October, another reason for delaying my hike.
Overall, I’ve really been enjoying life. I have my ups and downs, but my overall mood and outlook are noticeably better on a day-to-day basis that when I was living in Santa Cruz before the PCT in 2002.
The one thing missing in my nomadic life is the obvious: a home.
I’m ready for a home and have committed to having one by March 1st, 2007. I made that commitment before I decided to hike in April. Yet, I think I may keep that commitment as part of what the trail can teach me. I’ve held this belief that I can’t be paying rent (or a mortgage!) and still do a thru-hike; that there’s not enough money there to make it happen. I’ll add to the cost of a home to 4-6 weeks on the trail.
In some ways, it will be a shakedown for future thru-hikes. I’m ready to settle, to have a home, and I’m willing to prove to myself that I can do that AND thru-hike.
I would really like to hike the PCT again. I had entertained doing it in 2007, but that doesn’t feel like something I want to take on right now.