A few months back, in late 2014, I realized that my current gig (job) wasn't going to last forever, and would likely go away sometime in early 2015. I was thinking "hey, that's a good time to take some time off... but where? Tasmania? Spain? Maybe a long roadtrip to someplace remote, like Newfoundland?"
Then something hit me--I read that the PCT was created on my birthday. And I started thinking 'yep, it's a sign from the gods' and started to think how I could fit it into our current travel plans for 2015.
We've already booked in and paid for one walking trip--the Kumano Kodo trail on the Kii peninsula south of Osaka and Kyoto--and that starts in May. The question is: can I work around that and make my own PCT hike? And the answer is definitely yes!
Taking a couple of weeks off from the PCT in late May ends up working out really well--just before that, I'll be hiking north from the Mexican border east of San Diego, through the deserts and mountains. That's a warm-to-hot section to do in May, but doing it in April should be cool and a bit wetter, with the added bonus of some nice spring wildflowers and greenery. It's 700 miles from the southern end to Kennedy Meadows--say, five to six weeks--and I can do that before heading off on the Japan trip.
Kennedy Meadows is at the southern end of the Sierras, and if it's a typical snow year it's just not all that practical to start hiking north until the very end of May. There'll certainly be some snow to deal with in the first week or two north of there (hopefully nothing too dramatic) and I'll be prepared for that.
So that's the plan: start the week of April 1st from the southern terminus, take a break in mid-May, and start heading north again the week of June 1st from Kennedy Meadows!