I hope you had a pleasant end to 2014 and an exciting beginning to 2015. I spent the transition hiking, of course.
2014 didn’t have quite as much hiking as I had originally planned. It did teach me to accept unforeseen changes and adapt myself to them instead of just forging ahead. Sometimes that can work, but sometimes it can’t. The trick is to figuring out the best path at the time.
2015 will make up for it. I will be thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail starting in April. It is another National Scenic Trail, 2650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. Compared to the Appalachian Trail, it is physically easier: graded for pack animals as opposed to constant steep up and downs, and generally a clear trail instead of constant roots and rocks that don’t let you get a steady pace going. It is logistically more difficult though: less road crossings and towns (and the towns are farther from the road crossings), a very long desert stretch in the beginning that requires carrying up to six liters of water at a time, snow travel and numerous stream crossings at high elevations, and a pretty hard weather stop if you take too long. The PCT is longer, and needs to be finished in a definite window, but hikers can start out with big mile days right from the beginning. I will pick a start date as it gets closer and I am able to see how much snow California gets this winter.