My dream won’t die. I called my 2020 PCT attempt off before it even began, but it would’ve been derailed by Covid anyway. In the 3 years since, I’ve continued to train, upgrade and test gear, and work on my mental health to hopefully try again one day.
Well that day is March 8th, 2023 (as of now).
The permit process was a bit different this year and a bit more fair, I think. The PCTA (the organization that issues long distance permits) required everyone who wanted to try for a permit to pre-register an account that they used to log in with on permit day. This stopped people from using multiple browsers and devices to get multiple spots in line. Admittedly, I was one of those people in 2020, with 3 digital spots in line, but I’m glad they found a way to make it work.
That said, they also assigned people who had registered their own specific time to log in on permit day. I got a very late time, so most of the best start dates were already full. March 8th was the closest date available to my preferred early April start date, so I snagged it.
They released 35 permits per day on the November permitting day and will release an additional 15 per day on January 10th. I have an opportunity to try and change my date by getting another spot on that January day, so that’s my plan.
If I can’t, then March 8th it will be. That’s way earlier than I would like, but it also could help me get further down the trail before the wildfire season really cranks up, which has been getting worse every year it seems. I could also get through the desert earlier when the water is more plentiful. If it ends up being a high snow year, I will hit the Sierra very early, and may have to flip up to NorCal and come back to hit the Sierra later in the season. So pros and cons, but that’s one of the realities of the trail. Rolling with the punches.
ANYWAY, I wanted to officially crank the blog back up and as you may have noticed, I changed the URL to reflect the correct year now. I’ll continue to blog sporadically with training hikes and other random musings up until my start date and then try and bring everyone along as much as possible once I hit the trail.