In the last post I made I said I’d made up my mind about hiking a section of the American Discovery Trail. That was a huge lie. I’ve since had a chat with some like-minded folks who just came back from hiking a trail called the “Kungsleden” in Sweden. I was deep into my ADT planning making my maps through Colorado and didn’t pay it much mind, then I googled it a few days later.
The trail starts north of the Arctic Circle and spans 270 miles. The more I looked into it, the less exciting the ADT became to me, and here I am having serious doubts that an ADT is what I should do next. I have a problem getting distracted by things I think. Beyond that I’ve never really been outside of the United States. The prospect scares me to be honest, which is more reason to do something like this.
I know next to nothing about this trail as of now other than the fact that it exists and that the best months to hike it range from June to September, and I’m hoping to get there as early as possible because I love snow and the concept of having the sun out at midnight sounds fun to me (until I get out there and suffer from sleep deprivation). I just know that the more I look into it the more in love I am with it. The only problem is that even if I take it slow, 270 miles doesn’t really leave me out traveling for long, so I need to do something else as well if I can save up enough money in time which is where I’m looking at also doing another hike I’ve had my eye on for the past while which requires little explanation.
Before I hit the PCT I ran across a blog of a guy who hiked to the Everest Base Camp, and funny enough I sat there thinking “I didn’t know you could just walk up to it without being a climber”.
The Everest Base Camp trek – wait for it – goes up to the Everest Base Camp and spans a whopping ~38.5 miles from the typical starting point of Lukla where people fly in. You can however start further south and hike to Lukla which sounds more appealing to me. The trek usually takes around 9 days, you can’t really crush miles on this trail because you spend a lot of time acclimating to the altitude so you don’t become dead. Apparently that puts a dent in the trip. So as far as I understand it, you go a max of about 1,000 feet elevation gain then call it a day and do acclimation stuff. I’m looking at taking some detours along the way as well such as heading towards Gokyo because it looks cool, I don’t really need any other reason beyond that.
The other thing I’ve noticed about the whole Nepal thing is it looks to be pretty cheap depending on how you do it. If I chill out on the luxuries, I may be able to cram both these trips into one season depending on how much money I can hoard over the coming months. If I can’t do both, I’ll probably stick to the Kungsleden because it just looks so fucking cool.
Either one of these feels right to me as the PCT did before I started planning for it, so this seems to be the plan now. I’m having a hard time coming up with anything to top this. The only problem is I’m noticing a huge lack of Swedish in my language, so I may have to do something about that in the coming months so I can at least say “What?” when people try to talk to me in a language I can’t understand.
For now however I’m still on the road doing ‘on the road’ things like saying “I dunno” when you’re asked where you want to go next. I’m heading out to Goblin Valley, UT tomorrow to look at cool rocks, then I’m heading up north to visit my trail buddy Exo for a weekend. It’s still weird being off trail, but having a plan really helps. I still have pictures to upload, but the internet I’m using right now kicks me off whenever I try to upload things/download things so it’ll have to wait a bit longer. I’m also still mourning the loss of my good camera. I kinda fell into a deep depression in a river with it in my back pocket.. lesson learned.