Some people jump right in and hike the PCT without training, but we plan to start the trail in good walking shape. So far most of our training has consisted of traipsing around San Francisco. Chris has begun carrying heavy photography books in his backpack on his daily walking commute. But our most enjoyable form of training is going on local hikes with friends and family. Here are some of our favorites from the past few months.
On the July 4th long weekend we took a backpacking trip from Fremont to Livermore, predominantly along the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. The hike was about 38 miles long, plus five miles of city walking.
What was really neat about this trip was that we were able to do it completely car free! We took the BART train to Fremont, hopped on the AC218 bus to Ohlone College and started hiking. The trail goes through Mission Peak Regional Preserve, Sunol Regional Wilderness, Ohlone Regional Wilderness, Del Valle Regional Park, Veterans Park, and Sycamore Grove Park. From there you could catch the 18 bus to the Livermore transit Center, but we walked a couple city miles since that bus wasn’t running on the holiday schedule. Once at the transit center we caught the Wheels 10 bus to Pleasanton BART, which then carried us a mile from our home in San Francisco. A relaxing and low-carbon way to start and end our backpacking trip. You can find many more Bay Area transit-accessible hiking trips at http://www.transitandtrails.org.
The weather was blazing hot and a good test for the desert section of the PCT. The high temperatures were 98, 101, and 97 for the three days we hiked. We learned some valuable lessons. Hiking early in the morning was the most beautiful and comfortable time of day. Next time we’ll wake up before sunrise. When doing big mileage days, we need to pack more food than usual. Mary Jane’s Instant Organic Couch Potatoes were delicious, pemmican meal bars were not. Trekking poles are awesome, even if we look a bit goofy. And most notably, we are really enjoying having lighter gear.