Well, our last post hinted at it, it is time to plainly state it. We will be hiking, traveling, running ElevenSkys from trail again this year. Last year we learned, learned how to merge our work and our play, learned through trial and many errors, but we learned. To find balance is our goal in work and in life, and that is exactly what we will be seeking once again in the year of 2022. We have said it before, it is an extreme blessing and privilege to be able to merge the two. Yet, as one of our friends also has said, "we have traded in the 9-5 to work 24/7." Now the learning process continues to learn how we balance this 24/7, and learn how to continue to seek a life on trail, around trail, for the trail.
Forward we go!
Let us begin, with our first proposed hike of the season. Beginning March we will be setting off on the Hayduke Trail. A trail system that runs about 800~ miles mostly through Utah and traversing parts of Arizona. A trail that has been on our bucket list for many years, we have just had yet to find the window to make it fit. Well, this is it, finally finding our window and seizing upon the opportunity. Adventure, navigation, a trail when there is sometimes no trail at all, the Hayduke should be filled with many moments that are far from bland. We have heard many great reviews from and about this trail, and never never does it seem like there is a bland moment. Traversing canyons, burying water, finding routes, our year will begin with a navigational route that will let us scratch that adventure itch.
Staying in the theme of the desert, we will finish the Hayduke early- mid April which will roll us right into another wonderful weather window. The Grand Enchantment Trail is next on the list, traversing 750~ miles through New Mexico and Arizona. Early spring time will be a prime time to hike a trail, both my partner and I have had near the top of our lists for awhile. Slightly less navigation demanded then the Hayduke, but still enough to make everyday interesting. Hoping to finish this in about a month, we will be then transitioned into something different, that we have not experienced in a long time. A short summer "break."
Hayduke Route & Grand Enchantment Route
Beginning mid May, we will spend about 2 months road tripping, providing trail magic, and revolving around the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail. No concrete itinerary besides letting the travel and trail take us where it may. Down in California, up towards Oregon, maybe saying hi to Washington, with a quick jaunt over to Wyoming, and possibly Montana and Idaho. We will most likely focus most of our time and energy along the PCT as this is where most hikers will be. Along with providing trail magic along our travels, we hope to experience many of the shorter trails that we have fantasized about for a long time. Possibly the Wonderland Trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Lost Coast Trail, and the Bigfoot Trail, to name a few. Yet, there is no "have-to's" besides experiencing the travel and community of the trail from a different perspective. This has been a dream for both I and my partner for a long long time, and honestly it sounds very refreshing, rejuvenating, and exciting. Not being held to a strict mile average per day, no standards that we put upon ourselves, instead just freedom shared with others.
As our travel and trail magic extravaganza wrap up, we will possibly be beginning a Southbound hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, With permits set for the beginning of July, we shall see if this is something that we desire at this point in the season. We both feel excitement thinking about this hike, and have plans to shoot for a sub 100 day hike. Returning to one of the Big 3 trails of hiking has many draws. A path we both know, a community we miss, a culture that is only found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Not to mention it is an epically beautiful trail. This should accumulate our hike in early October.
As we wrap our PCT hike, we will spend a few days preparing to roll right into our next one. The Oregon Desert Trail. A trail that we have been hearing more and more high accolades about. We have told you this year would be our "grab-bag" and desert rat year, and staying true to our form, we need another desert hike! A trail that traverses through the state of Oregon traveling about 750~ miles through terrain of all shapes and sizes. This trail once again requires much planning beforehand, consulting the water report, making sure our resupplies are set, and navigating many routes that may change or be quite "bushwhacky."
Pacific Crest Trail & Oregon Desert Trail
This should bring us into the month of November, pushing the limits of the weather window in the Oregon Desert, but thinking we are capable of withgoing some harsher conditions. A touch of winter, that will propel us forward seeking summer once again. If we can't desert rat year round, well then we shall seek the sun and warmth elsewhere. Completely contingent on the travel requirements we hope to transition into the Te Araroa trail over in New Zealand. While it remains winter in the United States, we shall seek the solace of summer elsewhere. Another trail that has been ruminating in our minds for the past few years. Again it is very contingent on the fact that we will be allowed to travel overseas to New Zealand, fingers crossed.
Well, that's it, our loose-ish itinerary for 2022. The Hayduke Trail, The Grand Enchantment Trail, 2 months or so of traveling, hiking, providing trail magic, a PCT Southbound Thru-Hike, The Oregon Desert Trail, and hopefully The Te Araroa. If all goes according to plan, a season of hiking that will span a full year. March of 2022 to March of 2023. Our first full year of hiking. We have done a few months, 6 months, 9 months, but never a full year on trail. We are excited for the adventure ahead but also filled with trepidation with all the moving parts. Yet, if we have figured out anything in this life through the miles, through the journey, through our footsteps literally and figuratively, we have learned that it will always work out however it needs to. May not be our exact image of what is ahead, but the image will be right for right where we are. Onwards to the new year!
P:S: If you want a more detailed audio and visual description of our planned 2022 hiking season you can check out our video by clicking, HERE.
Or search HikingAmerica on Youtube and check out the most recent video.