So I've been thinking about my return to the PCT. I could actually go back next year if I wanted to. But even if I put that off for a later year, here is what I could possibly do for my return.
I could start by first doing the parts of the trail I missed. I missed 27 miles from Pines-to-Palms Highway to Saddle Junction near Idyllwild due to trail closure. I missed 8 miles near Big Bear. I missed the section from Baden-Powell to 3 Points, a whopping 25 miles. I skipped the awful windmill section between Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd. and Highway 58, another 8 miles. As penance for my sins of not hiking every single mile, I could do these shorter skipped sections twice, there and back. That way I could just drive my truck and not have to figure out how to transport myself around. And by doing my skipped sections there and back I could meet the current years' hikers.
In between doing some of my sections there and back, I could tool around in my truck doing a little trail magic and meet even more of the hikers. I could kill a little time until July and then do the sections of the Sierras I missed from Bishop Pass to Duck Pass (65 miles), and Section I (about 77 miles) . Hopefully there would be a little less snow and maybe I could get lucky and see a few less mosquitos. I don't think I would want to do them as a there and back since these sections are so long. I would probably use the bus system they have to return to my car.
I would also return to complete the closed section between Quincy-La Porte road and Highway 36 (100 miles). At the end of that section I might be able to leave my truck at my mom's house, or else I could simply drive it home afterward. Since I did not skip this section out of the sins of laziness or fear, I would not do a there and back. And maybe, in order for the snow and mosquitos of the Sierras to have time to die down, I could do this part before the Sierras that I skipped.
Finally, near the end of July, I could start my real come-back and head out where I left off at the end of Section O. I could either maybe get a ride up there or else just take the train from home back up to Dunsmuir. I like the idea of taking the train to return since I came home on the train. It would really feel like a return to the scene of the crime of quitting the trail.
Then I could hike all the way to Canada, through Oregon and Washington. Perhaps I could get lucky and have less snow than people had this year. I could also make sure I have a good tent to handle the rain. This would end up being another epic hike, that is for sure.
It is something to consider since I still have no job and the economy is not all that hot anyway. I think my feet might be up to the task by then, too. I've been slowly feeling better. I can walk barefoot outside on concrete now. When I came home I could not even walk barefoot in the house.
Piper's PCT II, the sequel, coming to a blog near you. Someday.