Friday, June 20, 2008

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, again

Tomorrow I'm planning to hike some/most/all of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail again. A couple of things make this different than my usual journeys on this trail: I'm trying to do as much of the trail as I can in two days, and I'm going by myself.

To hike the JDF in 2 days is a bit ambitious, and I'm not going to push to the point of carelessness, and will just hike as far and fast as I'm comfortable doing. I know the trail can be run in 8-10 hours, but that's not for me. The trail is 47km, and while normally this isn't an unreasonable distance to cover in two days (I've done 30km days on the Pacific Crest Trail and at Mt Assiniboine), the terrain is very hard on the body, and my knees have been giving me a bit of trouble lately.

So, I'm leaving my itinerary open, and will take it as it comes. Fortunately, there's not much rain the forecast, so that will help. Nothing slows you down more than mud and slippery boardwalks. I also have my base pack weight down to under 9 pounds, which is half the weight I previously tackled this trail with. Couple that with only 2 days' food instead of 3, a decent amount of training, and my stubborness, and I should be able to cover a lot of ground.

I've been wanting to try a solo hike for some time now. My future plans may involve a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, so I want to make sure I'm comfortable with the solitude now. The JDF is a well travelled trail, an hour rarely goes by where you don't see another hiker. I always bring a book on a hike, but this time I'm also going to bring an MP3 player. I don't like to load up on gadgets, but I did really enjoy music now and then on my last hike. And yes, the mp3 player is included in my 9 pound base weight :)

Check back for photos and trip report next week!

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