I live in the High Sierras in Northern California. A truly gorgeous place, with many lakes, streams, rivers and hiking trails. So many opportunities to explore nature.
For free! And yet, I have lived here for three years and experienced so little nature it is truly depressing.
The Pacific Crest Trail even travels through here! Click here for more info on the PCT, a trail that starts in near the Mexican border and ends in Canada.
I have made a goal for myself for this summer that I will travel the nub of the PCT that goes through our mountains. I will start in Belden and end near Chester. This is about 60 miles. For now I am estimating that my trek will take about a week. As I learn more, I will revise my timeline.
This trip will cost some money, so I will be starting a “Sponsor My Hike!” link on the right. There will be many opportunities to sponsor financially or with items. I am starting with hardly anything, so even a sleeping pad would be awesome.
In order to complete this hike, I will be hiking three days a week to start. Before my trip, I expect to be hiking long stretches daily.
Yesterday was our first practice hike. I will not be hiking with my family on the PCT, but many of the practice hikes will be family hikes, which, as I found out, will be slower and shorter than solo hikes.
We drove up near Antelope Lake, to the Antelope Lake Trail (I think. I forgot to take a picture of the trail head). It was a gorgeous day: cool and partly cloudly, slightly windy, but not cold, with the sun out, but not too bright.
I believe we may have been the first hikers on that trail since the last winter storm. There were several areas where the trail was completely blocked by freshly fallen trees. Lots of pine cones and small branches also littered the path.
The trail was pretty level and clearly marked. it was a good first hike to test our endurance. My son was recovering from a cold, so he rode most of the way in my Babyhawk Mei Tai, an asian style baby carrier.
I was willing to haul my almost 40 pound child because I figured it would give me experience with a “pack.” However, I am pretty sure my pack will not wiggle spontaneously from left to right, exclaim, “Ugh, oof, OH” over bumpy parts of the trail or feign sleep with an overly fake snore.
We had no way to mark distance, but I think we covered about half of the trail: about two miles. I was relieved to see my much thinner husband in a similarly exhausted state as me by the end of the trail.
Injuries are unavoidable when hiking with a four year old. Here is his hand, after tripping over a branch in the path:
He also has a gouge in his arm. I think he will be okay 😉