Archive for the 'Planning' Category

What next?

Friday, January 25th, 2008

   Though I got quite a few queries about what my next adventure will be I didn’t get many suggestions, so I came up with my own. In April I’ll be walking again, this time across Japan. You can find out more on my new site but here’s the basics. It’s shorter than the PCT but there is no trail, I’m making it up as I go along. I know a little Japanese and I hope to learn it all when I’m there. The blog will feature much better Google Maps integration. I’m looking for sponsors because another 6 months without work is a hard way to fund new shoes and a new tent.

   In other news I’m still sorting photos and track logs from last year. I should get back to that now. Wish me luck!

On my way

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Amidst a maelstrom of last minute panicking I am writing my last journal entry from New Zealand. Training is over, this is it. I have my ticket, my passport and far too much gear. I’m going to have to throw some stuff out in San Diego while I get acclimatised to that heat. Here in Auckland the winds are about to start knocking down trees and I’m actually worried that the plane won’t be allowed to take off in this weather.

Before leaving Peter pulled out a pen and gave me some useful information for completing my trek in the form of a maple leaf and phone number ala Prison Break

Prison Break from PCT

Google Maps

Falling into place

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

3 days! In just 3 days I’ll be on that plane and there’ll be no stopping me. I’ve cancelled my phone, got a new debit card, picked up my hiker trading cards (sure to be collectors items), moved most of my stuff, thrown out lots of junk and started to group the maps and guide books into sections. Everything is slowly falling in to place and all I need to do is go with the flow.

Not a very optimistic view but I’ve had it on my wall at work for a while now so I thought I’d share it with you. This year the trouble is going to be right at the start, a serious water shortage is developing and if I make it to bear country I’ll be very pleased with my self. What do I mean if? Of course I’m making it that far, as far as I am concerned this thing is in the bag, I just need to get there and get on with it. Canada that way—>


One week to go

Friday, April 6th, 2007

According to my countdown widget I have just 7 days and 9 hours until I board a plane and start this silly adventure. This week I received my New Zealand passport. It appears I need an NZ passport to reenter the country when I am coming home. If I tried to come back in on my UK passport I’d have to have a ticket to leave again or they’d not let me in, despite the fact that I am still me and I am still a citizen. Stupid regulations if you ask me. I also got my Canadian entry permit, so that when I sneak across the border out there in the woods I can turn myself in to the authorities and they won’t stress out about how I managed to leave the US without the customary retina scan, DNA sample and cavity probe.
In my last week I am gathering maps, packing up home and trying to sell off some of my larger possessions. Anyone need a motorbike or a futon? I’m getting a new datalogger due to connecting it to a malfunctioning wall supply that made my current device let out a little smoke. I’m just a little nervous that the new one won’t get there in time. Like a bunch of other things I have had it sent directly to my gracious hosts Scout and Sandy in San Diego. My new camera is there, memory cards, gaitors, and the Data Book that Amazon managed to loose the first time.

Google Maps

All quiet on the western front?

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

I haven’t forgotten my plan to walk to Canada, but other things have come up. last weekend was my sister’s wedding. A very nice affair it was too, out on Waiheke Island, gorgeous weather, lots of friends and family, everything went well. In the meantime I’ve continued to test the GPS Datalogger from OHararp LLC. The first run lasted 88 hours continuous logging every second. Now I’m trying to simulate the conditions I’ll be hiking under, that is recording while I’m walking in sunlight, but I can’t be outside all day so I’ve left it by my window and hope that will do. This weekend I’ll get back to hiking with a trip to Rangitoto so I’ll be getting some proper use out of the logger. I still haven’t sorted out my gear with only 5 weeks to go I need a stove, a pack and a windshirt and more, though some things can be bought in my week in San Diego.
I’ve also had a chance to play around with Google Maps.


Thursday, March 1st, 2007

In 2003 Scott “Squatch” Herriott discovered the Pacific Crest Trail during his daily commute. He had stumbled into the world of long distance hiking and the film he made that year shows it really made an impression. In 2006 he walked a considerable amount of the trail and gathered film and photos from other hikers to create the third installment of the Walk series called Even More Walking (view the trailer). I really enjoyed the first two, and this third continues the tradition. I read a few TrailJournals last year and it was very cool to see and hear the people I had read about. Even Gloves, the one who told me about the PCT rather than the AT makes a guest appearance. My favourite bit? The guy jumping into the watering hole, and falling, and falling, and falling. I’m going to try to find that place. And the high sierra sequence, I’m really looking forward to 10 days in those hills.

Training comes and goes. I do walk 5km to work every day, and sometimes replace that with an hour in the onsite gym if I need to drive for some reason. This weekend is a write off as my sister is in town to get married! Next weekend is the Rangitoto night hike which will be novel.

A Walk In The Woods

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Highlight of the day: Meeting Bill Bryson, author of A Walk In The Woods. It was at a book signing for his latest work, The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid at Whitcouls in Auckland. Nice fella, seemed interested in my upcoming PCT attempt. If I were to write a book about what ever happens this summer, I’d have to call it A Walk In The Hills.

This all made me think about what has brought me to the PCT. In 2003 I was planning my O.E.. I grew up in England and as a local I hadn’t bothered to travel all that much, so I hit upon the idea of seeing the countryside along The South Downs Way. But that seemed weird because I’d day 4 days to walk what I’d normally drive (or be driven since I was too young back then) in half an hour. But I liked the idea of walking so I looked for something in Europe and discovered The Tour du Mont Blanc and a photo from Jørgen showed me the wonders of Jotunhiemen. I completed them and it felt pretty good. Then A certain Mr Terry Long suggested the Appalachian Trail. It was list of legendary mountains I’d heard of since I was a kid. The Smokey Mountains, Blue Mountains, Shenandoah N.P. and it sounded great, but 6 months!! no way. Well maybe, before I’m 30 that was a few years away then I could postpone it.
I got back to NZ after my in Europe and had kept the idea of the AT in the back of my head. In March 2006 my dad met a hut warden in Tongariro park. Going by the name of Gloves she had walked from Mexico to Canada along The Pacific Crest trail and loved it. A border to border walk made so much more sense to me. people don’t know where Georgia and Maine are, but Mexico and Canada are pretty obvious, and it was only 500 miles longer than the AT. And that was that, for the last year I have been slowly gathering momentum and now I am just 8 weeks away from putting my toe into Mexico and facing north.

Doing it legally

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Today I got approved for my American visa. I am now able to stay in America for upto six months at a time for the next 10 years. There is still uncertainty about the process of crossing into Canada via the trail and then going back through a proper check-point. Worst case senario (apart from incarceration and a cavity search) is that I have to go back to the trail and walk in the way I came out, at which point I might as well get going on a yo-yo attempt :-)

I’ve just received my copy of Yogi’s book and am still hunting for a solar panel supplier. Work has approved the time off and that’s all in writing. I should buy a plane ticket soon.

Mapping and planning

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I’ve laid the map out in full and starting marking important points. Green for scenic points (Mt Whitney, Yosemite, Crater Lake etc), yellow for important places I might stop at (Hiker Town, The Dinsmore’s, Vermillion Valley Resort) and red for very important where I might change gear. So far Kennedy Meadows is the only red one as I’m still not sure quite where landscape changes back. Toulumne Meadows may be the place I send my ice axe back from but I’ll probably keep my boots on for a while. The planing continues.

The big maps, before the markings

First pin

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

It may have looked like I’d given up on this blog, and it did take me a while to remember how to login, but I am still here and still planning the hike. Today I put my first tag on the map. Hikertown is near Lancaster on the edge of the Mojave Desert, and since Bob wrote to the PCT-L inviting the ‘07ers there it inspired me to get plotting. On the map that is. I’ve mounted three maps on four A1 boards and have a bunch of flags and tags to stick in them. I’ll use this for marking out my resupply points and then planning what I need to send where.

Google Maps