I did a rough calculation of estimated dates to Canada. The absolute earliest I would get there is 09/28/09, and that leaves out all the zero days. So it looks like I'd end up there in October! Brr!
So, I know it's a sacrilege, but I could shave 3 weeks off the immensity by taking the CREST bus from Mojave to Bishop and rejoining the trail where I got off last year in the Sierra. I would have to haul my sorry butt up and over that hellish Bishop Pass, but I think the 150 miles of hiking just to get to Mojave might put me in decent enough shape to do it.
Another option is to just let it go. I mean, that section of the Sierras. Start at Tuolumne Meadows. Forget about Evolution basin. Completing the JMT can be for another time.
There are so many things to consider and so little time. Should I decide now or decide when I'm there? Will I miss out if I don't go to Kennedy Meadows and meet my fellow hikers? Will I struggle without the physical training that the build-up to and through the High Sierra provides?
It has felt remote to me, the idea of hiking the PCT again. I have been thinking maybe I do not want to do it.
I have some exercises for trying to figure out what your intuition says is the right thing to do. One of them suggests coming up with alternative scenarios and imagining your feelings. I thought about my start date for taking my hike coming and passing without going. How do I feel? Let down.
Then I'm supposed to imagine the same scenario but now a few weeks later. How do I feel? Again, let down. Lost. What am I supposed to do now?
Then 6 months later. How would I feel? I would feel like a huge opportunity passed me by. A door slammed. A heavy weight of sadness falls on my chest. That is NOT how I want to feel!
Imagine myself setting off and I feel light and excited and scared. Imagine myself a few weeks into the trip. I'm probably hot, worried, wondering if I'll make it. Six months down the line? I will have made it. I will have achieved something I never though I could. I will feel ready to get on with life and succeed at my next goal, whatever that may be.
At least that's how I hope I will feel. I have no idea if I will make it. But if I don't, I will at least not have let an opportunity pass me by. I will know for sure it was not meant to be and I can get on with my life.
I think I finally have an answer to what to do next. I will get some computer science courses under my hat so I can get on a technical track at some company and then I will live the life of a computer geek who works all day, saves all my money and uses every spare vacation day to get out in the wilderness.
Having a plan for after the hike may be the thing that was missing from last year.