Early this morning, as I was returning to bed after a bathroom visit (I do this more now than when I was younger), the clock showed 4:30, and through the bedroom window, there was just the slightest hint of dawn. The light and the hour gave me a sudden déjà vu. I realized that this was the first time in five years I was not crawling out of a tent somewhere on this date and time. I searched through our photos to see just what we had been doing around this time on prior years.
PCT Section B 2005 May 10
PCT Section C 2006 May 10
PCT Section D 2007 - May 2 Hiker Heaven
PCT 2008 - May 13 Butterbredt Canyon Road
2009 - May 10 Squirrel on our feeder, new solar fan installation
We've been working our way through the southern California desert on the Pacific Crest Trail since 2005. My routine for this date and time for the prior four years has been: get out of the sleeping bag, stuff it, throw all my gear outside the tent and crawl out, all without getting on Susan's side of the tent. Once out, I start the stove, put on water to boil, and then go pee. Then tea for Susan, instant coffee for me, and when that is done, cereal, powdered milk and water, cold or hot as desired. Then Susan throws all her stuff out of the tent while I pack my backpack, and stuff the tent. By the time I finish she is ready to go, and sometime between 6 and 7 am we are off on the trail. As you can see, we are not very speedy getting started.
We finished the last piece of the southern PCT last year, and continued on the northern part well into Oregon, so now only have about 750 miles in Oregon and Washington to complete the PCT. None of that is accessible until well into July, so we have this backpacking deficit in April-May. Our plan was to fill this void by hiking in Patagonia in March, hiking in France in May, northern PCT in August and an AT segment in Sept. As March approached, and the economy tanked, our schedule seemed a little optimistic and didn't give us time to decompress from Patagonia, so we moved France to Sept and dropped the AT. Thus our present situation. An aside, we've been getting some unattributed taking of blog content so inserting © 2009 backpack45.com
It's not bad here. We have time to do a garden, see our flowers bloom, do long pending chores such as install a solar fan in the garage. Susan for the last four years been gone for our wedding anniversary, gone for Mother's Day, gone for my birthday and is enjoying those missed occasions. But that moment this morning reminded me of those wonderful first few hours of the day hiking through the desert, and I miss it.