CA PCT 2018

Pre PCT

In October we left our home in Alaska and headed towards the lower 48 to visit family, pick up a Sprinter Van, help Beth and Ryan do projects on a house that they had purchased, do a first aid recertification, run a marathon and half marathon in New Orleans and prepare for the last section of the PCT. 

We had been thinking of a vehicle that would make traveling in the off seasons easier and when our friends in Colorado listed their Sprinter Van for sale, we quickly made the decision to make a purchase.

 It did not take us long to feel at home on the road!

It did not take us long to feel at home on the road!

We had a nice visit in Portland with Jeff, Emily and the two cats, Ruby and Jasper.

IMG_3713.jpg

We headed North to Washington to visit our friends George and Mary Jo Newbury. We wanted to do some modifications of our couch in the Sprinter and wanted to get George's opinion. Before we knew it George had a plan and the tools to do the project. Several days later the project ws completed!

IMG_0635.jpg

Since we were in the area we gave our friend Kurt a call and he immediately invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. It is always fun to catch up with Kurt and Becca and learn about their new projects.

IMG_3698.jpg

 

Then it was off to California to help Ryan and Beth move into their new house. A toast was in order.

 The fun of home ownership began!

The fun of home ownership began!

 The house built in the 30's has plenty of character and plenty of projects.

The house built in the 30's has plenty of character and plenty of projects.

Two months quickly passed with the list of things to do growing smaller. Knowing that we were hiking the PCT starting end of March, we decided to train by running. Don decided to run his first marathon and Donna the half. Each day we would check the training program and head out to do a run. We quickly realized why people love the weather in San Diego.

In Feb. we headed off to the Grand Canyon where Don had signed up to do a Wilderness First Aid Recert. The first day was beautiful and we enjoyed a walk down into the canyon.

 This weather was short lived as the next day brought the coldest temps of the year. It was the first time in many years that we got to experience a snow fall.

This weather was short lived as the next day brought the coldest temps of the year. It was the first time in many years that we got to experience a snow fall.

 So happy to have a warm vehicle to hang out.

So happy to have a warm vehicle to hang out.

At one time we had thought that we might spend some more time here, but with more snow coming we quickly changed plans and headed towards New Orleans. First though we stopped and enjoyed an overnight in one of Texas's many state parks.

 First there was snow and now there is flooding. We are off to New Orleans.

First there was snow and now there is flooding. We are off to New Orleans.

Don was born in New Orleans and hadn't been back there since.  So when he decided to run a marathon in early March, it seemed appropriate to sign up for one there.

Soon we were there and picking up our bibs.

IMG_3948.jpg

We spent the day before the race, checking out the French quarter and trying some of the delicious food that New Orleans is famous for.

 Quite a lot of history in the town considering they were celebrating 300 years! A lot of the buildings still had the beads left over from the Mardi Gras.   

Quite a lot of history in the town considering they were celebrating 300 years! A lot of the buildings still had the beads left over from the Mardi Gras.

 

P1010001.jpg

Since we were in the area, a quick visit to Don's childhood  town seemed appropriate.

 Our stay in New Orleans was made so enjoyable due to our hosts Ralph and Liz Gisclair. They are the parents of our friend Kurt who we worked with many years in Alaska. We couldn't have felt more welcome.   

Our stay in New Orleans was made so enjoyable due to our hosts Ralph and Liz Gisclair. They are the parents of our friend Kurt who we worked with many years in Alaska. We couldn't have felt more welcome.

 

 The day of the Marathon had the best weather for running that one could have wished for. It was a successful day for both of us!

The day of the Marathon had the best weather for running that one could have wished for. It was a successful day for both of us!

IMG_3986.jpg

Heading west back towards California, we made a couple of short stops. The first was at another state park in Texas where we were entertained by a group of javelinas 

 The second stop was at one of our favorite National Monuments, the Chiricahuas. Always glad to see that the balanced rock is still balanced.   

The second stop was at one of our favorite National Monuments, the Chiricahuas. Always glad to see that the balanced rock is still balanced.

 

 We spent the day hiking thru the maze of trails and once again appreciated the work of the CCC!   

We spent the day hiking thru the maze of trails and once again appreciated the work of the CCC!

 

IMG_4108.jpg

Upon our return to San Diego, Jeff and Emily were here from Oregon and we all headed to the wine country of Baja where we got to experience a nine course experimental dinner along with some fine wine tasting.

 Three hours later we left the restaurant feeling quite contented!

Three hours later we left the restaurant feeling quite contented!

 On the way back to the states, we stopped at a roadside store to pick up several pots for the house.

On the way back to the states, we stopped at a roadside store to pick up several pots for the house.

 Several days later, we visited with our friends that we had met 30 years ago in Baja, Bonnie and Joe Sedavic.

Several days later, we visited with our friends that we had met 30 years ago in Baja, Bonnie and Joe Sedavic.

 Now it is time to get serious about hiking the trail! Our permit is for March 24TH!

Now it is time to get serious about hiking the trail! Our permit is for March 24TH!