With thousands of hikers wanting to do the Pacific Crest Trail as a life long dream on a yearly basis, 2020 has been a gut-wrenching year. Think about all the hikers for this year would have announced probably in 2018 to friends and family that they were going to hike this trail. Sort of like a baby announcement. After that they start frantically planning the route, purchasing gear, daydreaming at work about it all the time, and getting ready mentally to “checkout” of real-life for a 5-6 window in 2020 to finally see if you are made up properly to hike this trail physically, mentally and financially. Then something called COVID gets on a plane like an unwanted door knocker and stops people just about they were to travel to Campo, California along the Mexican border to set out on this deeply personal journey.
Around the middle of the month of March, the world begins to change and shut down. In the United States, they closed the borders, started to close National Parks, National Forrest and State Parks. There were hikers out on the trail heading north and about 50 new hikers per day set out with permits needed to hike the PCT Thru-hike. With the news changing by the day, what were these people going to do? Fair enough for the people that didn’t get a chance to start since they were to start the hike in April. On Facebook groups and forums hikers would fight it out with some just wanting to keep going and isolate themselves on the trail since they are not really around people. But what about “Trail-Towns” and the risk you could put on them with PCT hikers continuing to keep going. Others would argue for people to stop and don’t start their PCT hike and to push it off to next year.
So what happens in 2021? What about the backlog? Will things be back to normal due to the COVID Pandemic? We should be fine in 2023, but I’m sure a little of the backlog will still be there. I can’t wait for the opportunity to apply for a trail permit for our hike. All we need is two spots. One for a fat person and one for a skinny picky eater.