This trip differed from all of my previous ones: I backpacked solo. Why? Because my usual partner wasn’t feeling well. I also couldn’t get anyone else to go with me, but I admit that I didn’t try all that hard to find anyone. In fact, I confess that I didn’t even bother to ask anyone. Why not? Well, it’s complicated. But the main reason is that I had been planning to do some longer multi-day high-mileage treks in the Sierra Nevada and on the Pacific Crest Trail in the next few years, and to hike them successfully your best bet is to do it by yourself. You always walk at your best pace, you stop when you want to, you eat what you want, you aren’t dependent on anyone for anything, and you never get angry at anyone except yourself. The downside, of course, is that you sleep all alone, you do all the work in camp, and you don’t have a buddy to help you out if something bad happens to you. My partner, Vicki, has trouble at higher elevations and cannot hike as fast or as far as I can, and she decided that she would prefer to help me do those upcoming big hikes in more of a support capacity, by being at a trailhead to pick me up when I finish a hike, or to help me with a mid-trek resupply. Hence this solo trip.
But did I really want to hike solo? Would I be lonely? Would I hate it? I really didn’t know. But I had to try, if I was going to realize my dream of backpacking those awesome trails.