My husband and I are discussing what I might do for next year’s solo trip. I really want to do something high mileage. I want to see about doing a short time, but long distance trip. That is, one where I have to keep walking pretty much all day before collapsing to sleep and then starting all over again.

20 miles a day. Give or take.

Which seems absolutely wild to me at this point. I recently walked 20 miles wearing such a light pack that I might as well not have been wearing a pack at all, on what may as well have been flat terrain, and I was thrashed. I couldn’t do a step more.

And now I’m planning on doing that four days in a row while carrying, oh, at least 30 pounds of equipment, food and water. Probably more like 35. Although I could probably leave out the kindle this time, since I doubt I’ll have the energy to read after I hike 20 miles in a day.

We’re looking at the Idaho Centennial Trail, near the area we hiked this summer in the Sawtooths. It would be a thru-hike, rather than a loop or an out and back. And I wouldn’t be hiking it at all before the trip itself. It’s that part that I think, more even than the heavy mileage, that is about preparing myself for doing the Pacific Crest Trail.

There’s no practical way to preview hike the PCT. From the hiker journals that I’ve read, higher mileage can be achieved gradually while hiking the PCT, but I think that the mindset of being able to navigate places you haven’t been before is something that has to be grasped more quickly. The trail is all new to you (unless you’ve already hiked it, lucky).

I’ll post more as we continue to firm up plans. For now, contemplative frog:

I found this frog chilling in the lake at 8696 on my solo trip this year. And I do mean chilling, that’s a snow fed lake. It’s really cold. 

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