We are a lucky crew; as of last week, we have two new companies who are helping us complete our journey.
Tenkara Rod Co.
The first is Tenkara Rod Co., based in Driggs, ID. Tenkara is the traditional style of Japanese fly fishing that originated about 200 years ago. Though tenkara techniques and values are similar to the more common Western style fly fishing, tenkara pares down the complexity by eliminating the reel in favor of a fixed-length line attached to the tip of the rod. To make up for the lack of control a reel offers, a tenkara rod is traditionally 12ft long so fishers can still make a perfect cast to the fish holds. Tenkara also offers a great way for beginners to take up fly fishing, as it cuts down on the amount of knowledge one needs to have before getting on the water and fishing.
I knew that hiking this summer would prevent me from my normal summertime fly fishing. If I'm honest, I'll admit that I was especially bummed considering how much time I'll be in the mountains over the next 5 months and unable to spend an hour next to a calm stream waiting to see the silver flash of a strike. However, Tenkara Rod Co.'s setups are both lightweight (about 3 oz.) and compact (collapsed length of 20 inches). Tanner at TRC understood my plight and is hooking me up with their Sawtooth model, named after the Sawtooth Mountain Range in Central Idaho. The Sawtooth is TRC's slower action rod, which means it makes playing a fish a little more lively. The rod is also a beautiful ruddy orange that matches much of my other gear.
So far, we haven't had any opportunities to fish, which is fine because I'm not going to bring the rod until we reach the Sierras. But I can't express how excited I am that I will get to spend part of this trek participating in one of my favorite pastimes. Thanks Tanner & TRC for making my summer one of the most memorable.
Chris and I had the pleasure of meeting Paul & Alice at dinner in Idyllwild, CA. Paul & Alice, two of the founders of the Guthook Hikes PCT mobile app moved to Idyllwild after they hiked the PCT. They fell in love with the small mountain community when they passed through and decided it was going to be their next home. Paul has actually finished the PCT three times, so together they have plenty of great, first-hand experience that they've built into their app. They were kind enough to offer Chris, Nick, and I each a copy of the app for free.
While hiking, we have found Guthook Hikes app to be absolutely invaluable. Not only is it responsive, quick, and accurate, it has large amounts of media content, mostly in the form of pictures, that help us identify important land marks along the way. We haven't had paper maps for the past two legs, so we have had to rely exclusively on our iPhones for navigation. Though the trail is decently marked along the way, Guthook Hikes has kept us on track and provided us critical information regarding water sources.
Thanks Paul & Alice! It was wonderful to meet you and can't wait to share more of our stories from the trail!
Thanks again to all of our sponsors. You've made our trip so much better already, and we still have 90% to go!