I had originally planned to leave this Thursday April 24th, in order to attend the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kickoff (ADZPCTKO), but I have decided to wait a week and leave on May 1st. It will probably be a tad bit hotter in the desert, and I will still need to finish by Oct 1 to avoid the snows in Washington, but I think this is the right thing to do. There are apparently a record number of hikers this year due to the increased popularity of the trail. There are apparently close to 1000 planned hikers, and the ADZPCTKO at Lake Morena is full up. They were gracious enough to tell me they would make room for me but probably not at the campground itself and away from the other hikers, but I would still be competing for camp sites and food at the stores, etc. I may still have issues with food being bought up, but I will make it work.
I am still very excited to make the jump and get on the trail.