September 23 All the way home

Friday, January 21st, 2011

In true hobbit fashion, I got to have TWO breakfasts this morning, and enjoyed both! I had an early breakfast with my sister first before reconnecting with Bill, and then had a second breakfast with Bill and our friend John! So I was thoroughly stuffed when John dropped us off at the rental car place.

I’d been worried about the fact that we weren’t scheduled to pick up the car till 9 am. Usually when we drive back to the San Francisco Bay Area from Portland, we leave at 6 am or even earlier. I thought that we’d end up getting home in the dark, late at night. But it turned out I need not have been concerned. We had a very uneventful drive home and got there at a reasonable hour. Driving between Portland and San Francisco follows sort of a pattern. First you drive through the beautiful Willamette Valley, with the Cascade Mountains (and PCT!) to the east, then Highway 5 climbs up into the mountains and begins to rollercoaster up and down, finally reaching its highest point at Siskiyou Summit (where the PCT crosses!) Then you’re still in mountains all the way into northern California (crossing over the PCT again at Castle Crags) till finally dropping down into the great Central Valley with its rice paddies, fruit trees and olive trees. A couple of hours later, and you’re into the coastal hills, pass the marshes of the north end of San Francisco Bay, and then the final “turn for home”.

It is wonderful to be back, especially since the last few days on the trail were pretty tough. We are amazed and grateful that we made it all the way. Both of us are skin & bones and we’ll have to do some serious eating and resting to get back to normal, and I have to really “hit the ground running” to get the Awana Club started up ASAP.

But it was totally worth it to do the PCT again. Back before Etna, we were sitting around eating supper with Croatian Sensation and Not a Chance. We were talking about how we all were doing the PCT a second time instead of doing some other trail. Croatian commented, “Well, we’re the PCT Retreads, I guess.” I guess we are! We love the PCT, and when we got home, we started talking about “let’s do it again in 2015!” We learned a lot on this hike, and we want to try to apply it, and see if we can do better next time.


“The 3rd Monty” Chipman

One Response to “September 23 All the way home”

  1. Laura says:

    I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about your PCT adventure all summer & fall. There was nothing better than seeing a handful of posts show up in my RSS reader. Thanks for the vicarious thrills! Hope to read you again in another 5 years.

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