Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Plan B: Western National Park Tour 2015

How do you grieve the death of a vision? I could dwell on what I "should" be doing (literally walking my ass off from Mexico to Canada). I could spend the next several days sobbing and being full of resentment as I make my way back to North Carolina. Or, I can look at my new found situation as an opportunity to see places that are on my bucket list. Why not? We paid to come all the way out here, and we're in no great hurry to go home. Bills are paid for the next five months and the dogs are being well taken care of. There seems to be no better time then the present.

I can't really take credit for this fantastic idea. I was pretty ready to be a sorrowful individual, but Cori came to me with the suggestion that we take this crappy situation of not hiking the PCT and try to take advantage of being out West to see some the world's most beautiful and historic places. It took awhile for the new plan to settle in, but when I could let go of my ego momentarily I had to admit that this new "Plan B" (as we've come to call it) actually sounded pretty awesome.

We came up with a short list of National Parks; Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Rocky Mountains. Cori would rent a car and we would travel to each park spending a day or two in each one, and camp each night. If we wanted to stay somewhere longer or add places to the list we could always extend the rental car reservation. I know this means we just get to dabble in each of these places, but it still gives us the chance to see areas that we've never been to, and we get to experience them together.

Usually I use this blog to talk about my trail adventures, and driving across country doesn't really fit in with this theme. Still, I'd really love to share these places with our friends and family (the four of you that will read this) and I see no other valid reason to share it somewhere other then here.

So, over the next few weeks I'll share our adventures at each National Park as we make our way back East. Our first stop, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.


  1. Great posts, Rachel. Enjoy Plan B!

  2. That's rough that you needed to change plans, live sure throws curve balls at us, but it looks like "plan B" is pretty great. Have you considered a "plan B subset 2"? Stay near the PCT and Cherry-pick the very best parts of the trail as day-hikes? Start with Tuolomne Meadows, then Mammoth lakes area, Sonora Pass, Carson Pass, Echo Lakes/Desolation Wilderness, then continue on north towards Canada. You get the idea. Either way, you'll have an amazing trip, but with the low snow year, you could start hitting trail (with daypacks) right away.
    From your writing, you seem like such a positive person, and I'm you sure you'll have an awesome journey no matter what you do! Maybe I'll see you out there sometime?
    Reno Dave (part-time Trail Angel in the Donner Pass area)

    1. Thanks Reno Dave. Yes, we did think about that. I have high hopes that somewhere down the line I'll come back out to hike the JMT and possibly OR/WA portions of the trail depending on my life situation. Doing the park tour just gave us a chance to see so many different places throughout the west we would not get to see when hiking.