Scott and Rachel's Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike journal: Vancouver, B.C., Trail Mail, Mar 25

Our second email update went out today, necessitated by a change in the email services offered by Yahoo! (They are scaling back on their services and will no longer be allowing POP3 access for their free email accounts). It's hard to complain about a free service (but watch us!)

The end result? Had this occurred DURING our hike, we would have pulled into a trail town, only to discover that we couldn't send out our email update from the trail (what we like to call, "Trail Mail"). We would also have discovered that we couldn't receive email either. Not fun, when you are in the middle of a 6-month hike, dirty, tired and only wanting a burger (maybe two), fries, shakes, ice-cream, a beer ... and who knows what else? It would be unlikely that we could have located a new email provider, set up an account, and edit all of our web entries to reflect the change, while on the hike. Fortunately, the scaling back occurred right before we are leaving. Whew! Just time enough to do all of those things.

So, we have a new Trail Mail Email address:

Make a note of it. THIS will be the email address to use to contact us while we are on the trail. (Note: We can only receive text-based email. Our little hand-held computer's brain is just too small to handle HTML code ... so, please don't send any pictures or HTML stuff. Thanks.)

Our PCT Web Pages are hosted (for free) by Yahoo!Geocities and so are our other pages (see below). Generally, we're pretty happy with what we get for free. Yes, there is some advertising that pops up on our pages, but it is relatively small and can be clicked away easily (it shrinks to nearly nothing if you wait a moment). Yahoo!Geocities is scaling back on the web services too, no longer offering FTP access to our web site files. (No big deal for us, since we will be on the trail anyway).

So here we sit, only three weeks before we embark on a 6-month, out-of-touch hike and what are we worried about? Email addresses! Gee, who would have thought? If you had said "pack weight", or maybe "post office changes", we would have believed it. But email addresses? C'mon!

Speaking of three weeks ... what are we up to now? (Besides email addresses, you mean?) Well, we are packing. Our belongings are going into small cardboard boxes, each with an appropriate label, and then we're moving them into a bigger box across the river (i.e. - storage locker). Today is Monday. Rachel has two more days of work (Oops ... really ONE day, and ONE hour of work) left. Needless to say, she is eager to be able to leave work behind (why is it that the LAST days are the hardest?) and get going on this hike! On Wednesday, Rachel's first day off, we are going to be moving out of our little basement suite. All the stuff will go into storage and then we'll move in with Rachel's folks for a few days. We still have a few odds and ends to do here in town (we're waiting on a special order of grocery items ... (4) 12-lb. boxes of salted, mixed nuts; a 12Kg box of M&Ms; 10Kg of hot chocolate powder. We've found it quite fun to buy in bulk from the bulk section of the local grocery store. We call it "Bulk Bulk". We bought a 20Kg bag of instant rice, for example, for $68(CDN) ... just under $50 (US) ... what a deal!) Anyway, we need for that stuff to come in. (The fun stuff we get to eat while hiking ... M&:M's, candy bars .... we went to Costco and bought over 400 Snickers bars!! That's a lot of Snickers bars. And we've only eaten TWO so far ... we've been good.)

April 15th is coming quickly now. Fortunately, all the dehydrating is done. We have more than 180 meals, 720 pieces of beef jerky and 1000 fruit leather pieces. Our freezer is full. So, all we have to do now is pack, move and travel to Mexico. Scott will leave Vancouver first, taking the truck (laden with gear, food and equipment) to northern California on April 1st or 2nd. Rachel will follow in the car on April 5th. Then it's pack and sort at Scott's folk's house near Chico, CA - getting all 26 resupply boxes labeled and filled. Then - OH MY GOD - it's onto the trail. (Finally). It's hard to believe that it is actually right around the corner.

If you're reading this and are not signed up for our TRAIL MAIL updates .... click here and get signed up! (We'll send out periodic updates from trail towns and keep you abreast of our progress). In the meantime ... send us email, words of encouragement and more snickers bars using our itinerary page, which has mailing addresses and our arrival dates! (400 won't possibly be enough!)

-Rachel & Scott

PS - Rachel likes "Oh Henry" bars and Scott likes "Payday" bars too! (Just a hint).