How long will it take?
I plan to complete the entire coastal walk from Canada to Mexico within 12 consecutive months – roughly 1700 miles. The mileage could differ a bit, depending on my final routing decisions. The current plan (based on optimal weather) is to start in March 2016 at the Canadian border, an finish at the Mexico border by the end of February 2017.
How far will you walk each day?
The plan is to walk about 10 miles per day. If you’re doing the math, that comes to about 170 days of walking (less than half a year). So why am I taking a whole year? It’s because I want to keep a reasonable balance in my home and family life. I won’t be doing this as a thru-hike. When I’m walking farthest away from home (Washington & Oregon), I’ll be walking in 28-day cycles, basically 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off in an effort to minimize my ‘commute’ (I live in Southern California). The schedule will be more fluid as I get closer to my home area.
What will each day look like?
Ideally, I will wake up at my host family’s home (as early as is comfortable for the family), pack up for the day and drive to my starting point for the day. I will walk my mileage – approximately 10 miles, then make my way back to my car (either by my bicycle, via public transportation, or by support vehicles). The method of return to my car will vary each day, depending on the terrain & support available. Once back to my car, I will first scout the next day’s route, then spend the rest of the day being a tourist – taking photos, watching the sunset and making memories (this is also a dream trip, after all!). I’ll also provide for my evening meal and probably do my online daily updates or blogging at this time. I will arrive at my host home around nightfall. In any case, I want to cause minimal disruption to my host families! All I really need is floor space for my air mattress – and perhaps a second plot of floor space if a family member or friend is traveling with me at any given time…
What route are you taking?
I’ll be following the well-traveled Pacific Coast Bicycle Trail as much as possible. However, in many places the PCBT opts for the ‘countryside’, as it’s more pleasant for cyclists to do that rather than traverse cities with traffic, stop lights, etc. If it’s a choice of city vs country, I’ll deviate from the PCBT and use the city route – safety (and comfort options) over scenery. When I finish each day’s walk, I might drive some of the scenic PCBT areas to see what I’ve missed!
In general, I’ll be following Old Hwy 99 (the I-5 corridor) through northern Washington, then the 101 from Olympia WA thru Humboldt County, CA. From that point, it’ll be mostly Hwy 1 (Pacific Coast Hwy) to the Mexico border.