If you are tracking my progress on my Spot page you may have noticed I covered a lot of ground yesterday. I skipped a twenty mile stretch of trail that is closed due to a fire from last summer. Over the past few days I have debated how to overcome the closure. Some hikers are walking 18 or more miles on a highway with tight turns and narrow shoulders, yet others choose to navigate a maze of trails and jeep roads to circumvent the closure, but the hiker maps don't show these routes. In the end I took the recommendation from the Pacific Crest Trail Association to simply hitch hike around the closure.
It was a hard decision to make. I wanted to have a continuous hike from Mexico to Canada but now my hike is segmented and "impure" but in the end it's not worth risking the next 2500 miles if something happened while hiking stubbornly around the closure. Yesterday morning I woke up in the desert only miles from a water cache, but that night I set up camp on a forested mountain with snow piles within feet of my tent. Over the past two weeks I have enjoyed seeing how the terrain slowly morphs and evolves with the miles but I am sad that I didn't experience the transition between where I started yesterday and where I setup camp in the evening.