Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Good Stuff!!!

The Danish visitors left us with a new expression:  "More Good Stuff!!!"   A few years back one of them received one of those delightfully tacky talking Greeting Cards and this is what the voice in the card proclaimed.  This little goofy English expression stuck and the girls now use it frequently. It's most commonly used when one is flying down a ski slope, or a gliding through a meadow of fresh white sparkling powder guided by the moonlight and stars.

 Sunshine Meadows by Full Moon - Feb. 7th

It's been a whirlwind of More Good Stuff the past 2 weeks, actually far too much to keep up with.  There's been some amazing adventures:  a full moon ski, some warm sunny days and glorious runs and a few ski tours to new and beautiful places.  This past weekend - 3 full days at Skoki Lodge.  We made some incredible turns until my legs were sore on our first day, then we bagged an incredible high ridge on the second day and finally, we relaxed and skied back to civilization on our third day.  More Good Stuff!  

Sparkle and Snow

Either way, the expression "time fly's when your having fun" fully applies to me and my life right now.  Time seems to be passing at such an exponentially fast rate, that I feel like I could use some extra time to organize my time. :)  Or just collect my thoughts.  Too Much Good Stuff?  Truthfully, I've been a little distracted with a few ideas swirling in my head.  You see, there's this little thing I've been obsessing about.

 Twin Cairns

It's time to Howl.

 Back in the New Year I wrote:

I love the New Year. It puts me in a contemplative state-of-mind and makes me hyper aware of the passing of time and of good things to come. It makes me think that now is the time to live my life, because every moment counts. Time is precious and we've got a limited supply.  It's your life to live, it sure would be a shame to not enjoy it! So, if you have any big hairy audacious goals - put them on your list and start planning. Time's a ticking.

Friday AM - at Skoki Lodge:  More Good Stuff

So, I've been thinking.  I've got a few big hairy audacious goals on my wishlist.  Most of them involve trails and adventures and travels - or some variation of those themes.  My big crazy dream that's been on the wishlist since I first heard about it the desire to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Merlin's Castle - above Merlin Lake:  Skoki Backcountry

It's a trail that stretches from Mexico to the Canadian border and travels 2,650 miles or 4,265 kilometers through 7 National Parks, 24 National Forests and 33 federally mandated wilderness areas.  Until recently, I didn't think it was an attainable goal for me to take the time to do this in the next few years.  A few weeks back, all of that changed over a breakfast conversation and a morning cup of coffee with my husband.  In a nutshell, Keith told me that I should just go do it and I should do it now.  So, just like that it was decided.  When your husband gives you the "two thumbs up" to go for a very long solo walk, you have to go for it. 

Best-est Husband on Earth or in this case, on Merlin Ridge

It's been oddly surreal.  I went from "Some day, I'm going to do that!" to "I'm doing the PCT!" practically overnight. It left me a bit bewildered and I almost didn't quite believe it myself.  Now that it's settled - I'm practically bursting at the seams.This thing, this dream o' mine it's happening!  It's really happening!!

Happy Leslie!


We're Going There.  More Good Stuff.  Merlin Ridge in the distance.

Now, you're probably asking yourself:  how long does it take to walk 4,265 miles?  Well, it's a major time commitment.  Every year in early May, around 300 hikers start the PCT from the Mexican border.  Most of them are going to take 5 months and try and finish sometime in late September.  As for me, I can't start in May with this years annual crowd of through-hikers.  The time line doesn't work for me or for my employer.  I'm going to do something a little bit different and start from the Canadian border on August 1st traveling North to South.  It means I could be a little lonely and it also means I'm going to have to work very hard to make it through the Sierras before the snow arrives.  Who knows if I'll make it.  If I survive one month, then 2 months, then 3 months - I'll be a happy girl.  If I actually make it the entire distance I'll be thrilled beyond words.  If I don't make it, I sure will have had fun trying.

More Good Stuff!  Looking towards Lake Louise from Merlin Ridge

So, that's my big exciting news.  I'm hiking the Pacific Crest Trail!  More Good Stuff, indeed.


Danni said...

That's awesome! Have you looked into all the required permits and such? Or are there any required permits?

Leslie said...

Heck, yeah! My brain is ready to explode with the things I'm learning on the internet. Too. Much. Information. The Pacific Crest Trail association issues "Long Distance Permits" and they are free! My small problem is that it's actually illegal to enter the US by foot. Canada offers through-hikers traveling South to North a nice little permit to cross the border. But, it's currently not allowed to cross the American border by foot, even on the PCT.

Leslie said...

...oh and Congrats on running 100 Miles in frozen Alaska! You are my favorite Slacker.

Unknown said...

Cool. Let know if you want some crew assistance in Washington.

Leslie said...

Thanks, Michael! I love my Ultra Peeps - they're always looking out for me!

Danni said...

Really? It's illegal? You can cross the border at Goat Haunt in Waterton/Glacier???

Helen said...

Just love ALL the 'good stuff'. Skiing under moonlit sky, Skoki Lodge, Merlin Ridge, bestest husbands and PCT.
Go Leslie go!!

Olga said...

Heck big dreams! Going alone? Hubby crews? I think going this direction is going to rock!

Unknown said...

Make sure you get Yogi's guidebook.
Don't buy the Wilderness Press books.
Get your pack weight down. Most of the good gear that you want to carry you will buy off of former thruhikers that have started hiking gear businesses.


Leslie said...

Hi Danni, Yeah - that was the first thing I thought of as well was Goat Haunt, but this is off the PCT website:

I'm supposed to start on the Washington side and if I really want to start at the terminus - I'm going to have to start with a 30 Mile walk the wrong direction. It seems rather goofy.

Leslie said...

Thanks Helen! So much Good Stuff, I could barely fit it all in one Post.:)

Hi Olga - you'd appreciate that the ongoing reaction from my non-running friends is: "What? You're not going to run?"

Hi Rebecca! Great advice, thanks. You know your stuff - and that's the plan. Have you done a through-hike before??

Gretchen said...

Oh my gosh, the United States is SO obnoxious!! Seriously, we can enter Canada on foot, but don't you dare come here.

Ridiculous politics aside, I am SUPER excited for your trip!! Also, jealous. Silly, huh? But I want to go back.Anyway, you already know you are welcome to whatever help I can offer through the Sierras. And email me your general itinerary when you have it figured out - I will totally stalk you, uh, I mean join you, for any time if I can. :)

Good for you for going for it, Les. And good for Keith. He's awesome!

Backofpack said...

Eric and I are here to help! Let us know - anywhere between the Canadian border and Snoqualmie. Heck, we'll meet you anywhere between the Canadian border and the Washington/Oregon border! Email us!

Leslie said...

My God, you people are AWESOME. Thanks, friends!!

Mary said...

Well darn. I'm doing the JMT this summer but we are starting from yosemite august 1. So won't get to meet you. However if you need help in Oregon let me know.

Leslie said...

Hi Mary! Go figure, here I am looking at your blog while you're over here commenting on my blog! :) I'm very excited for you, Yay for the JMT!! I suspect that one has been on your life list for a long time. I'll be on the trail for a looooooong time, so hopefully you can figure out a way to join for a few days. I would love, love, love that!!

Kaz said...

Awesome! Amazing! Wow! Good for you! God the logisitics, and yet that's half the fun! I'm ridiculously excited for you. What a trip! Wish I too lived on route to give you another crew, but it appears you have a tonne of help already! looking fwd to hearing al about the planning and the doing.
Those night time photos are really some of the most magical photos I've ever seen! Can I come and slot into your shoes while your away!!! LOL!

HappyTrails said...

Thank you for your happy dance in the snow! More good stuff to come soon.... I am going out to make a snow angel and will think of you happy dancers up north! Cool pics, btw!

Paige said...

Frickin' A, this is cool! I love this; I just don't have words to describe how utterly awesome this whole thing is. So happy for you!

Leslie said...

Utterly, AWESOME! Good choice of words Ms. Paige.

Brian said...

PCT! What a great adventure. I have some friends that have been trying to plan a PCT through hike for 2 years now. Good luck doing it backwards. Also, as a concerned US citizen, it is nice to hear that the Gov't is protecting me from a crazed horde of walking Canadians.

Sara Montgomery said...

LOVE that you're doing this! Can't wait to follow along with you! Have fun with the planning.

tay said...

hi Leslie, is this all planned??? I am remotely following, your snow posts/photos are fascinating! go girl! Tay from Australia