We’ve decided to start hiking a bit earlier than we originally planned, for a few reasons. The early start will allow us to walk fewer miles in the beginning of the trip and more gradually increase our pace. It has been a very low snow year for California, so starting a week early shouldn’t cause any snow challenges. Also, we finished our tour of possible new cities (more thoughts on that below). Finally, as you might guess, we’re antsy to hit the trail. Our new plan is to start hiking north from the US/Mexican border on April 19th. That’s less than a week from now!

We had a great tour of potential cities to live in after we finish the hike. Each place had its own unique feel and culture, and we’re glad we took the time to explore them firsthand. The place that clicked with us best was Fort Collins, Colorado. The friendly, down to earth people, good bike lanes, lively walkable downtown, proximity to the mountains, and art scene were all major positives for us. We are very excited to call Fort Collins our new home after hiking the PCT!

Sunset in the Old Town area of Fort Collins

Although we just picked a new home city, the woods and mountains of the Pacific Crest Trail will be our home for the next five months. We received our permits from the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) allowing us to camp anywhere along the trail. We are very grateful to the PCTA for coordinating with the many National Park, State Park, and Forest Service organizations to make this permit process so simple.

One permit for 2650 miles!

Begin the thru hike countdown! Six days and counting…

27 comments

  1. Hi Anna (and Chris):

    I work in Water Division in Region 9 on the 12th floor in the NPDES compliance group. I never worked with you, but I’m looking forward to following your hike. Congratulations on your decision regarding Fort Collins. My daughter, Ellen, is a student at Colorado State and well-settled in the Fort Collins community. She would love to offer any help you might need in your move. You can check her out and contact her through the following:

    http://www.facebook.com/ellenlsilva
    http://www.dailymile.com/blog/dailymileroftheweek/dailymiler-of-the-week-ellen-s
    ellengirl83@gmail.com

    Best wishes on your hike!

    Keith Silva

    1. Hey Keith, I just checked out Ellen’s Daily Mile page and she is one active gal! It’s cool that we’ve actually done some of the same (or similar) races – the Wildflower Tri and the Oyster Urban Adventure race. I’ll send her a note when we land in Fort Collins. Maybe we’ll go on a run, although she might dust me! Thanks for introducing us.

  2. Wow! Ft. Collins it is -to Ang and i will be sure to sell our house and leave the continent before you finish your hike :)

    We wish you the best if luck on the trail and very much look forward to seeing more of you two once you move to Ft. Collins

  3. Congratulations on picking a new home base. May you enjoy a smooth start to your journey on the 19th.
    We were in Flagstaff yesterday and are in Gallup, NM tonight. We’re being chased by a windy, cold weather front. Brrrr. xxx

    1. Whoa, that’s crazy! We’ve been in Flagstaff for the last few days so I think we were in the same city and didn’t realize it. Enjoy New Mexico. We recommend ordering Christams (red and green chili) cheese enchiladas. Yum. Hope you have a wonderful trip and move!

  4. Awesome news on both fronts! Ft Collins sounds like a perfect choice, and I can’t wait to start reading posts from the PCT.
    –Dad/George

    1. Thanks Dad, it’s exciting that you’re following along, and we can’t wait to get started. You should come visit Fort Collins and we can go for a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park!

  5. Woohoo! Walk Anna and Chris, Walk!
    We’ll have baby ready for you by the end :)
    If possible, I’d love to join you briefly in May.

    xo
    Ryan

    1. It’d be fun to have you join us for a section in Southern California. In a day or so, we hope to send out an email to friends who want to meet us on the trail, so keep an eye out. Good luck with baby prep! Hugs to you and Wendy.

  6. Anna and Chris: Looking forward to following your blog with our three kids. Thanks for letting us share your hiking experience (and the beautiful pictures) with them. We wish you both all the best hiking and in your new home of Fort Collins. Joe and Elaine Willig

  7. Hey, Chris & Anna –
    Here in the midwest it’s a no-fire zone. Fallen trees & too little snow over the winter. You have better conditions?
    Where can I get a PCT map like G’s & J’s?
    So, less than 100 hrs. to go, right? I’d say that’s countdown time! The Best of Trips to you!!!

  8. Anna and chris – bonne voyage from the cubes at EPA (and the bay area hills and hollows). How exciting that you are starting the walk early AND that you already know where home is. Looking forward to hearing more as you walk. Seeing the names of the towns you will go through really brings home what a wonderful trip you will be on all the way to stehekan!

    1. Thanks Suzanne. We really enjoy the names of the towns and landmarks too. Some of my favorite names are Three Fingered Jack, Skykomish, and Idyllwild.

      Let me know if you need pictures of certain waterways. I’m happy to provide a snapshot of their condition or their surrounding vegetation.

  9. Not surprised you picked Fort Collins…the Front Range is fantastic. You’ll love it there. Hope you have an awesome PCT hike.

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