Like last year; this seasons hike will be in two parts. I will start in mid July at Seiad Valley in northern California, where last years hike ended, and head south. The goal will be to hit Sierra City, about 460 miles away by mid August, although that is a soft goal. The real goal is to finish California in 4 years, meaning I need to average just over 400 mile a year. The bulk of this segment will be solo, although a friend will fly out and join me for a week.
Come mid August I will head back to Washington, pick up another friend, and tackle the section between Rainy Pass and Stevens Pass, another 125 miles, before the end of August. That is a pretty firm deadline because my hiking buddies wife is dragging him off on a cruise then. She would likely not be too happy with me if he missed their cruise.
So far, the only area of concern through this segment is the Hat Creek Rim. It appears to be waterless for about 30 miles. This will be during the time when I have my friend along and expect to be moving a bit slower. That means we will each have to carry a couple days of water from the outset: two gallons of water = 16 pounds.
My wife will once again provide support for this segment of the trail, meeting me every 2-4 days to resupply and allow for an occasional day off. This is somewhat of a win-win for both of us. It keeps the trail from becoming to arduous for me, and it gives her the opportunity to sight see in the area and exercise some of her wander lust. She will also put in quite a few miles day hiking up to meet me every few days, without actually having to spend the night out in the woods.
I think my gear is in pretty good shape although I likely will tweak it a bit in an attempt to lighten the load some. Once I get a better idea about that I will provide a new gear list. I anticipate that I will go stoveless again this year since it worked so well last year. I also expect to be able to use the hammock throughout this years trip as well.