Tag: Senior Hiker

Because I Can

First Backpack Trip
at age 65

When I first began hiking the PCT (in sections) I was 65 years old and had never backpacked. Sure, there had been plenty of local day hikes here and there. But my first ever backpack trip started at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail.

A friend asked me why I’m doing this. The immediate answer rolled off my tongue without a thought. “Because I can.”

Pondering what I said.

I’ve thought about that answer many times, wondering if it sounded smug or conceited. To some it probably did. After much consideration, I believe what I really meant was “Because I’m able.”

Today, while watching the YouTube of a fellow senior hiker, The Hiking Rev, one of the things he said struck me like lightning. When asked why he hikes, he said my exact words.”Because I can!” I’m not the only one who spoke the words! Yay! (I’m not entirely conceited!)

It made me feel validated and vindicated because my choice of words were echoed by another senior hiker.

At 65, I’m sure many in this age group have experienced family members, friends, and acquaintances who became disabled or died. It’s not something we want to acknowledge or dwell on for ourselves. Our days are numbered and our bodies are wearing out. This fact motivated me to backpack, because “I’m able and I can.”

The decision was made. I will seek adventure with a pack on my back while I am able.

Are you able?

 We Have To Decide Today!

Mid January and today is the day to attempt another PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) permit. They’ve changed “The Rules” and threaten confiscation and revocation of your permit if you aren’t starting where and when your permit states. I’m a rule follower…I steer clear of getting in trouble! Why risk something unpleasant if I can stay within the boundaries of “the rules.”

Since we aim to traverse the Sierras this year, and we avoid treacherous snow conditions, it’s impossible to know when or where that will be. Yet we have to have a crystal ball and make predictions by 10:30 this morning! (two hours 13 minutes as I write this!)

The PCTA (Pacific Crest Trail Association) and the local agencies that oversee and protect the environs covered by the PCT, have tightened “The Rules.”  It’s not as easy as “Let’s start where we left off.” Or “Let’s wait and see when the conditions are suitable for two Senior hikers.”

We feel that since we are starting somewhere in the middle of the 2650 mile trail, our chances are good at getting whatever we apply for, but who knows where we’ll actually start depending on weather conditions? 

But let’s complicate this a bit more. I have a grandbaby on the way. IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST – In TEXAS! Prime time for the SOBO stretch between Sonora Pass and Kennedy Meadows. Then Debbie has another milestone family event in June! AARRGGHH!

 We have to decide today!

So we hedge our bets and roll the dice. Pick a place and date. We could always relinquish our permit and apply for another IF there is one available for the time and location when the time comes.

What are your strategies for selecting start and end dates through the Sierras?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén