updated Wed Dec 4 05:59:29 PST 2019

Jaunt to the Continent

Late February / Early March 2020

My UK visa expires at the end of February so I must be on my way. I want to spend a week or two in Continental Europe visiting friends. And explore a bit in Spain and Portugal.

Return to the USA

March 2020

Fly to the Pacific Northwest to see my family. Hopefully Karen can get leave to come over, too. I'll make my way around to see friends all along the West Coast.

Hike on the Pacific Crest Trail

April / May 2020

Cover most of the stretch of the trail that I have not done yet. That is in southern California, from Mt San Jacinto up to Mt Whitney. It should take several weeks. I would like to start before the crowd, perhaps in early- or mid-April. That will require some snow travel.


  • CA §C — Highway 10 to Highway 15 (Cajon Pass)
    [132.5 mi, +22445 ft, -20786 ft]

    This should take maybe 9 or 10 days at 13 - 15 mi/day. One wants to start slow, you know.

  • CA §D — Highway 15 to Auga Dulce
    [112.5 mi, +27372 ft, -27845 ft]

    Upping the pace to 16 mi/day covers this section in 7 days.

  • CA §E — Agua Dulce to Tehachapi Pass
    [112 mi, +21132 ft, -19822 ft]

    Upping the pace again to 18 mi/day covers this section in 6 days.

  • CA §F — Tehachapi Pass to Walker Pass
    [85.5 mi, +14862 ft, -13424 ft]

    This section might take about 5 days.

  • CA §G — Walker Pass to Crabtree Meadow (near Mt Whitney)
    [115 mi, +23621 ft, -18106 ft]

    If I'm really cruising at 20 mi/day this section needs 6 days.

Putting those rough numbers together gives about 33 or 34 days: about five weeks.


Watch the Total Solar Eclipse in South America

December 2020

The next total solar eclipse happens on December 14, 2020, in southern South America. This is the start of summer there. There are two places I have in mind from which to watch it:

  1. The Summit of Volcán Villarrica - Volcán Villarrica is a (sometimes active) volcano in the beautiful "Lakes District" of Chile. The climb should be free of snow, I believe, at this time of year, although climbing up hard snow with crampons would be preferable to climbing up dry scree. Anyway, what a spot to see an eclipse! And not far away are beautiful waterfalls and one of the best hot springs I have ever visited (in 2017).

    However, in case the weather looks poor on the west side of the Andes, the backup location is:

  2. On the Pampas in Argentina - Where there is plenty of space to camp, some water, and nobody around to bother us. The centerline of the eclipse meets roads here and here among other places. The skies are more likely to be clear on this side, east of the Andes. But the landscape is much more boring, IMO. I mean, if you thought eastern Oregon was a big empty space in 2017, this is something else again.

Using the free Stellarium Astronomy Software I made the following two predictions of how the sky will look from the summit of Volcán Villarrica at the moment of greatest eclipse:

(ignore the farm house at the top of a mountain)