12.Mar.2002 - We were getting a bit worried (because our mail is being re-routed in three days), but now we can breathe. We are official! Yesterday, we received our PCT wilderness permit. Yahoo! It's funny how one can focus on some small aspect of planning and this piece of paper, in all it's little pink glory, means that "We're REALLY going!" When we received it, we were both amazed and disappointed. We'll tell you why in a moment, but first ... getting it:
Scott wanted to get the permit before Christmas, and present it to Rachel as a gift ... "start getting excited, we're going HIKING!" That thought was quickly squelched when he went to the PCT website to apply for the darn thing. There was a note on the site that said NOT to apply till after February 1st. So much for a Christmas surprise.
On February 5th, we applied for the permit. We FAXED in our application and sent in $10 to cover our costs (we weren't PCTA members at that time). Anyway ... we waited, expecting to get it soon thereafter. Of course, living in Canada means that mail takes that much longer, because it has to clear Customs (they have to let dogs read it or something ... who knows?) So, we weren't surprised when we didn't get it before the end of February. But we started to worry when it didn't arrive by the 5th of March. Surely, the PCTA and Customs has had 30 days to deal with this! How long can it take a dog to sniff a permit?
We are moving out of our apartment at the end of the month and are re-routing our mail starting March 15th. When the 10th rolled around and we STILL hadn't received the permit, we thought we were going to have to call the PCTA and ask that another permit be issued, that we'd have to arrange to pick it up at Campo ... all sorts of worried thoughts went through our heads.
Sure, all reports say that 'nobody' asks to see the permit, but we thought, "Knowing our luck, the first day out somebody will ask for it!" What we worry about before such a big trip! Really! (We must make this stuff up, just to have somthing to worry about.)
So it arrives and we are relieved. And amazed. To think that it cost us only $5 each for a full SIX months of camping. Talk about a recreation bargain! In this day and age when movies cost upwards of $8 (US) per person, gas is a dollar-whatever a gallon ... ONLY $5 (US) for a six-month permit? AMAZING. And it's FREE if you are a PCTA member. Such a deal!
But, we were also a bit disappointed. For a trail such as the PCT - long, rugged, and tough ... the little pink piece of paper is ... well, 'so wimpy'. You're supposed to carry it with you, but they couldn't expect it to be in your pocket. By the time you got to Manning Park ... there would be nothing left! I suppose we're never happy. We should be glad that it only cost $5 ... that it arrived ... who cares if it looks like it would disintigrated in a light shower. Be happy!!
Okay. We're happy.
By the way ... what's with the YEAR? The form isn't even a 2002 form ... it's LAST YEAR'S FORM? (Darn ... there we go ... complaining again!) Okay. We'll shut up.