I've been busy the last few days, packing for the next few months away from home. Tomorrow (Friday), we leave for ten days in Japan. This trip was long scheduled before I committed to doing the PCT--it's not easy to burn all those British Airways frequent flier miles, and work around both our jobs--and it looks like a good short holiday. When I was planning to do the PCT, I wanted to work this trip in, and it slotted in at a good time. I could start in mid-March and do the southern California sections of the PCT during the cooler and greener and more flowerful months in the deserts, wait two weeks or so for some snow to melt and the temperature to warm a bit in the Sierra, then hop back on the PCT in early June. That's still the plan.

For the next week, though, we will be walking along the Kumano Kodo, a network of ancient pilgramage routes south of Osaka and Kyoto. It's somewhat similar to the Camino de Santiago (including UNESCO World Heritage status), but a fair shorter and certainly less well known. I'll be taking my backpack, but staying in country inns each night, and enjoying the local food and nice hot mineral baths as well.

I'm looking forward to this; I've never travelled through rural Japan before, and Chris and I are doing it together which is another big plus. An interesting article on the trail can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/06/travel/japan-kumano-kodo-hike/

After a brief stop in Tokyo on the way back, I'll be flying back into LAX and repacking my backpack out of the back of the car, where I've stashed gear for the Sierra and the remainder of PCT. I won't really be leaving the airport area, and a few hours after land from Japan I'll be on a connecting flight to Mammoth for a rest day and to resupply some thimgs like food and fuel. In the late afternoon I'll be on the evening bus south to Independence and the Mt Williamson Motel, so I can rejoin the PCT the following morning from Kearsarge Pass.

That's the plan. Not really too complicated, but after the last couple of days of packing I'm ready for a bit of relaxation. Walking another 50 miles sounds great :-)