PCT Day 78: Mile 1087- 1090 South Lake Tahoe



I woke early, not to an alarm, but just to the sound of birds chirping away in the trees around me. I didnt have to move, but I was excited to get to town and get all my chores done. I went through the usual morning routine and was soon on my feet chatting with Quill for a moment before pressing on.

She planned on just going in to Tahoe for a day and coming right back out after resupplying and sending some food forwards. I on the other hand was meeting Izzie and some other friends through the week and wouldnt be getting back on trail for a whole 6 days. It would be a good break, and seeing I was almost 50% complete with the trail miles, I though it would be appropriate.

The morning was beautiful and the light poured through the green pines. This was one of my favorite things. The golden hour as sun rose and set, something about this time was just magical. The mornings were typically still and filled with chirping birds and the only real sound of russling was my feet on the trail. I trekked through, decending from camp towards the trailhead where I hoped to hitch.

I soon happened upon Lorax and Firefly who were on the same mission. We chatted on and I found out that they had met the year previous on the AT and were hoping to be tripple crowners . We all exited the trail and walked out to the highway where we threw out out thumbs and hoped for the best. Quill soon joined us and we all tried our best not to look too grungy.

After 20 minutes of trying, simultaneously 2 cars pulled over and we all piled in. Jason was Quill and I’s newly found friend and he chatted on about Tahoe, his work, and his return from a month long vacation in Germany. A super nice guy, he dropped us both off and waked as he took his leave. It was chore time and I sat at a Dennys recalling the last few days and making my plan for the week t come. I was pretty excited to explore the area with Izzie, and find my way into a new pair of shoes and a new sleeping pad!


PCT Day 77: Mile 1064-1087 Carson Pass



We were just 12 miles from Carson Pass, and Hamms, BandiLegs, and Jelly Bones planned on stopping here for resupply and meeting up with SilverFox who offered up his cabin to a bunch of us for the night. I planned to press on an additional 13 to Hwy50 where I would hitch to Tahoe and hopefully get some much needed gear replacement.

After another chill morning Jelly Bones and I hiked out together continuing the chat from the day before about where we were from, climbing interestes, family life, and what we hoped to achieve after the PCT. It was a really nice day, and before we both knew it day hikers started to come into sight. You can tell a day hiker by how clean they look and the way they smell (So fresh and so clean clean!!)

We soon got to Carson Pass where some free snacks and sodas awaited us at the Ranger Station. Everyone was smiles and we all took turns weighing ourselves on a provided scale. Having to press on I said goodbye to the crew and hiked out as they stayed behind attempting to get hitches into town.

I pressed on up the next ridge and after some good gain found a beautiful plateau and a lush green valley greeting me. As I hiked further I found day hikers, Tahoe Rim Trailers, and PCTers alike. They were all out the enjoy what the forest had to offer. I soon saw Quill after some miles just grinding on in her own little world. “Hello!” I exclaimed and we caught up from the last time we camped together and went on about how we were both ready to get our resupply, and a good coffee.

We pressed on at our own paces until finally dive bombing off the front side of the moutain we had just climbed which gave way to granit boulders and waterfalls. It was a cool spot and we both decided to call it home for the night. There were a few other hikers who trickled into the camp and after some dinner, stretching, and watching the light fade from the sky above Lake Tahoe, it was tome for bed. I crawled in my tent, and like a tranquelized beast, fell asleep.


PCT Day 76: Mile 1039-1064 Tahoe Bound



I woke early, yet no one in seemed to be in a mood to get going. After pulling myself from my tent I could smell a campfire nearby. Hamms and Jelly Bones had started up a small one and everyone slothed towards it with breakfast in hand. Probablly one of the most chill mornings thus far!

After sitting around and playing the “would you rather” game for a while, I threw the final effects into my bag and was standing ready to rock and roll. I headed out strolling through the trees and winding through the trails. A good gain finally brouhgt me to a saddle overlooking a lush green valley ahead. I had no idea what to expect after the Sierras, but apparently, this was it!

I trekked on bopping around snow patches before Jelly Bones caught up with me. “Hey there brother!” pulling her best Hulk Hogan/Macho Man impression. Straight cracked me up, and we rolled on chatting about the trail and life back home.

Lakes were abundant and the creeks that flowwed across the trail were perfectly clear. We stopped for a snack after another climb and a pretty sick view ovwelooking the landscape to the east. Volcanic formations, pine forest, mountain lakes, and lush valleys were abundant. Other hikers trekked on by and we chatted about the Tahoe resupply plan.

We pressed on, winding through the forest and soon saw a road in the distance. On the other side of the road was a big tent and a nice man named Chipmonk manning the griddle. “Wahhhoooo” I let out a big woop. I hadnt seen trail magic since before the Sierras and a huge group of hiker were gathered, munching down on the charitable feast laid before them. Man it was nice: eggs, chili, bananas, cereal, orange juice, and piping hot coffee. I had no complaints and we stuff ourselves before thinking Chimpmonk profusively and pressing on.

Pressing on, playing leap frog with Bandilegs and Hamms we finally found a nice spot away from the mosquito invasion that started to rear its head again. Cowboy camping on a great view, we slept like logs before the dawn of day woke.


PCT Day 74+75: Mile 1017-1039 Kennedy Meadows North + Wolf Creek


6.26.18 + 6.27.18

Day 74: Kennedy Meadows North

We woke and gathered our things headed back to Kennedy Meadows North Resort for some breakfast. I threw my clothes in the washer and headed in for breakfast. Something about it was really relaxed and laid back.

Happy and Chilibin joined me for the delicious breakfast and we chatted away. Once dinner was over I was on a mission to locate the shoes and sleeing pad that had been lost in the mail. Soon after sorting out the adulting, I made my way to the back porch and we all just hung out and relaxed. I was supposed to get back on trail, but I didnt really need to be anywhere in a hurry as Izzie would be meeting me in 5 days and 75 miles. Pretty chillin.

As people rolled in, and old crew I hiked with for some time started to trickle in. Silver Fox, Jelly Bones, Photon, Cool Runnings, and quite a few others gathered in. We caught up and chatted and the longer I sat, I knew I would hae to push out that night. There was an itch to go.

A decent group of us hitched: Hamms, BandieLegs, Jelly Bones, Cool Runnings, Photon and we hiked a mile into the trail, set up camp, and eventually crashed out.

Day 75: Wolf Creek

We all woke, going through the usual routines and were soon moving on trail. The day was pretty chill and the trail rolled on through the gorgeous landscape. Mountains in the distance, jagged rocks overlooking lushgreenvalleys, and the morning light doing its thing.

Jelly Bones and I trekked on together chatting as we went, catching up since I hadnt seen her since she got off trail for a film festival. We cruised on through the forest, crossing creeks as they came and twisting and winding through the forest. It was a nice day. After a good break with BandieLegs for lunch, we got moving pushing the rest of the miles, chatting away about our time on trail.

Before we knew it we rolled into camp where Hamms was setting up. Bandilegs rolled in behind and soon the Boyscouts 1&2 joined up. With a small fire rolling we all gathered around making our dinners and chatting away. Fires on trail have been few and far between, but when they come, they are a nice treat!

Soon as the light began to fade we all crawled into our respective tents and got cozy. It had been a really nice chill day on trail.

Book Reccomendation: Switched at Birth, this American life.

Music Reccomendation: Alex Bleaker and the Freaks


PCT Day 73: Mile 1012-1017 Kennedy Meadows North



We woke on the side of the trail, cowboycamped, to one of the best sunrises I have seen on trail. What a beautiful sight. Happy popped his head up just a few feet above me and Trainwreck did the same from her nearby tent. We took our time getting going and it was nice to watch the sun come up in the distance.

It would be the last time we were above 10,000 feet and we took it in, savoring the experience. Once packed up we headed out, walking tediously across the snow patches that were frozen from the night air. We worked out way over to a saddle before finally bombing down towards Sonora Pass.

The rocks here reminded me of Arizona. All the galvanic rock and treeless rock faces reminded me of Humphries or parts of the Grand Canyon. Needless to say it was gorgeous. Trainwreck and I chatted on as we decended towards the pass. The trees made their appearance and creeks gurgles, cutting the trail and the snow patches. Soon we found ourselves at the trailhead with our thumbs out hoping for a ride down the hill.

After a bit we met Papperazi’s mom and friend who gave us a ride. I had chatted with him the day before and he let me know they would be waiting on them and might give his a ride if we were there on time. We arrived to Kennedy Meadows Resort to find showers, laundry, a general store, a restuaunt, a haven for hikers! After hanging out for the day and doing chores we made our way down the road to the campground where we crashed for the night.

Paperazzi: 30s from Sacramento Ca. He attempted to hike the PCT in 2016, after meeting a gal from Canada they ended up trekking together on the regular. During this time he was drinking regularly on trail and at any stops along the way. After coming to Kennedy Meadows North, he started hitching rather than hiking to the next stop. Bernie, to Shasta, drinking frequently along the way. Finally in Shasta he got a wakeup call to sobriety and after applying himself, has been so for 2 years now. Coming back in 2018 with his dad he is coming back to go after it again. His dad originally only wanted to do the JMT, and after hiking from the Mexican boarder, he came down with a case of bursitis at Agua Dulce, and had to come off trail. Then he rejoined Paperazzi in Kennedy Meadows South and hiked until Kennedy Meadows North through the Sierras. Paperazzi is an awesome guy, always in a great mood and happy to chat, his smile alone is as accepting as his personality.

New Zealand reccomendations from ChiliBin: Te Araroa, Lord of the Rings set, The Hobbit house, Skiing, Franz Joseph glacier, ect.


PCT Day 72: Mile 991.5-1012 Sonora Pass



Goodbye Sierras :*(

We woke down in the meadow, I could still hear the river crashing just a few hundred feet away. I looked up towards the netting of my tent, it was still covered with Mosquitoes, Crap!

We had no choice but to get ourselves moving. I packed as much things into my bag befoore exiting my tent. Wrapped like a mummy in clothes I broke my tent down and hurrily got on trail. Happy had already beat me to the punch and had let out from our camp 10 minutes before.

Despite the small annoying bugs, the morning was gorgeous. The golden light played off the trees and the river rolling through the bottom of the valley through which we were hiking. Slowly and surely after a few relaxing uphills we found ourselves at the bottom of Dorthy Lake. It was a beautiful sight, the snowcovered mountains surrounding like sentinals and the green lush grass boarding the lake was very welcoming. It was a little early for a dip so we kept on pushing up to Dorthy Lake Pass. Once again we took in the sihts to the valley ahead, speakled with lakes and just as beautiful as the last.

The trail was a bit sloppy, but after some careful footwork and a few creek crossings we found ourselves at a bridge. This marked the end of the mosquito attack and I saw Papperazi and his dad Freighttrain hanging out beneith a tree. We chatted for a bit before they took off, and soon Happy came rambling through. It was lunch time and after a while Oxygen Debt came through and we all enoyed a nice break together.

We hiked on, up through the valley towards the pass before bumping into Trainwreck. I let her borrow my batt pack and we all pressed up the large mountian towards camp. As we pressed on, all of the supdden I felt an icecold streak run down my head and neack. Happy had grabbed a snowball and crushed it on my head. It was on and we reverted to children having a snowball fight.

After taking a time our, we crawled up the rest of the pass and were impressed with all the surrounding views. We could see the Sieraas to the south and the outstretched mountains before us. We were at the end of the Sierras and it was almost sad to look back at their snowcapped peaks. The three of us pushed on and finally found camp at 10,800 ft. With light fading and not much choice, Happy and I cowboy camped on the trail while trainwreck set her tent up in the wind on a small bivy pad. A really gorgeous view put us to sleep and we all bundled up in the chilly wind of our trialcamp.

Oxygen Debt: 40s – from all over really, seemed very vague on his background but very nice. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors degree in Physics, but seemed to have most recently been bumming it around the world seeing the sights. North of the artic circle, to Alaska, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, the list goes on. He also dabbled in some Irish dancing amongst what seemed to be one of his many mysterious skills. Happy and I couldnt get a true bead on the fella, but one the less enjoyed his company just the same.

Book Reccomendation: Cork dork


PCT Day 71: Mile 972.5-991.5 Mosquito Invasion



There are 2 great motivations to keep moving on the PCT: 1) Long term, winter will set in with late September. 2) Short term, if you dont keep moving, you’ll starve. (if that doesnt work the mosquitoes north of Tuolumne Meadows will eat you alive!)

I woke next to Lake Benson, sleeping in late again and started my day. Quill who warned me she usually slept late was still snoozing in her tent as I packed up. By the time I had my pack on she was up, disturbed by the loud birds and couldnt keep alseep. I said my fairwells and pressed on headed back to the trail.

It wasnt half a mile before I heard a “Baaahhhhhh” in the distance, and I looked up. It was Happy! Somehow he had gotten turned around and went to the lake by mistake as he navigated his way in the morning light. He had camped just 2 miles before the lake and I was glad to see him. We chatted on before getting moving on the trail.

The trail was lush and green here, so lush there was moss and ferns began to spring up, where I handnt seen them for miles. It reminded me of the PNW a bit. We started gaining right away and I put it in low gear as I climbed. The morning light was gorgeous and I snapped pictures left and right. Soon I popped out at a beautiful lake. I paused for a moment to take it in and snackl a bit when the mosquitoes found me, and I was hard pressed to keep moving.

Soon Happy popped up over the pass and we continued on chatting away as we went. Through the emeral forest we hiked and gazing in the distance of the towering granit moutnains we appreciated the Sierras while they still lasted. Down into a valley we crossed lakes and streams, life was abundand, and so were the mosquitoes.

We were faced with another climb and pressed on, step after grueling step. Happy was having some shin splint issues and took his time, which was just fine by me as I was in no hurry. I waited for him at the pass, and reunited we bombed down the other side chattin on about our favorite shows and things we might watch if we were home

We nosedived down into the valley that housed Wilma Lake, fed by Falls Creek via Jack Main Canyon. We followed the creek up, and noticed it seemed to become almost marshy near the rolling creek. The mosquitoes started coming out in full force. I had never seen them this bad in my entire life and they stuck to us like moths to a flame. Soon after some miles of shooing and slapping away the preditors, we found our camp.

We set up tents and dove inside. They stuck to our bug nets by what seemed, the hundreds. It was crazy how adament they were. Both Happy and I were covered in bites from the miles of walking through their territory. Everything was done from the confines of our tents, and after food and stretching night fell and soon our heads with it.


PCT Day 70: Mile 948.5-972.5 Benson Lake



Its leather, either boot or saddle. There is no other way.

I felt like sleeping in, so I did. I was up the night before hanging out with Happy, Feather, and our new backpacking friends Lisa and Mike. I hadnt been sleeping all that well the last few nights with my ever flattening pad so I decided and extra hour of rest wouldnt kill anyone.

By the time I woke Happy and Feather were long gone, so I was back to trekking solo. I meandered through the lush green forest, enjoying the trees and gurgling creeks with high rising granit in the background. Couldnt ask for a more scerene scene to have a morning walk through, and I enjoyed all the moments. I pulled over for a moment, and Noodle came bounding up. “Hey man!” he exclaimed with a huge smile.

I had met him in Tuolomn waiting on my package to arrive and he was a new found friend. We chatted on as we hiked throught the beautiful landscape. He went on about his last day or so on trail, his hiking partner Tank, and we chatted about the difference in personality types. How the majority of people are there just to enjoy nature and all it has to offer, with a n open mind. Not only to what may come, but alos in meeting other hikers along the way.

After crossing a few creeks together with some killer leaps of faith we had a quick break snacking up before he pressed on and I went back to enjoying my solo stroll. Soon after running into Trainwreck and chatting on with her I happenned upon happy sitting in a beautiful meadow just across a nice creek. I got my feet wet attempting to ford the creek, and soon after joining Happy, pulled off my shoes and socks and layed down having a nice short nap after some muchneeded snacking.

Afterwards we both got up and started pushing on and up towards the pass. Soon as we did Quill came into view. Our 2 man conga line had turned to three. We climbed towards Benson Pass, chatting as we went. Soon after NoBo and his lady joined our 3 man conga turned to 5, and like the little engine that could we slow and steady chugged up the hill towards the pass. The views were incredile, but unlike the passes before this one was almost devoi of snow. We soon gained the highest point and to celerate we all took a nice break. It was only moments before the mosquitoe were upon us, sucking on us like vampires.

We were soon up and we all pressed on. I cstarted chatting with quill first about the statistics of the people on trail. Then we turned to phylosiphy, ideaology, religeon, movies, books, personal hostry, all sorts of subjects. She most interesting enough believed the all the decisions we make are already pre determined by our genetic makeup and environmental influences. We went back and forth debating the idea to some length before we realized we had reached te overlook of Benson Lake.

We looked back, Happy and Cashew ( a fella we picked up at he pass) were nowhere in sight. We continued on, through the gorgeous green landscape before finally coming to rest at he lakes edge. This was our camp for the evening and we chatted on after eating our dinners and watching the last light of sun leave the sky. It was a good day, and id be sure to make the next one just as good (pre-determined or not!)

Hiker Profile:

Noodle – 27, Fun loving guy with a huge smile and always ready to laugh from Montana. He went to Montana Weastern and played strong safety for the football team throughout his time there.

Montana Reccomendations: Swan Mountain Range for hiking back backpacking some beautiful lakes. Bob Marshall Wilderness, climbing at the Chinese wall. Bozeman Canyon for ice climbing, Beartooth Mountains for all around adventure.

Wyoming Reccomendations: Sinks canyon, Shashony National Forest, Popogia Wilderness

Quill: 23 From San Diego CA. An aspiring wrighter, she tried her hand at Stuctural Engineering studies and decided they werent for her. She decided to take a break from accidemics and come hike the PCT. Afterwards she has no definit plans on where she will end up, but would like to persure her studies in environmental enginering or green engineering possibly from Oregon State. PLenty of miles to go before having to decided!

Jazz Recomendations: Lester young, Django Rhinhartd. Book reccomendations: Life after Life, Gone Girl.


PCT Day 68+69: Mile 942.5-948.5 The Tuolumne Wait


6.20.18 + 6.21.18

Day 68: Lambert Dome

The waiting game was strong! A car would deliver the mail around 1pm and then after an hour of sorting I found that there was once again no packages waiting for me. The nice thing was I got to chat and meet all the hikers rolling into Tuolumne Meadows. At the end of the day I had to get out so I decided to hike Lumbert Dome and I wasnt let down.

It was a great hike and after topping out and enjoying the views I returned to my campground, just to wait the next day.

Day 69: The Naked Mile

I packed up my bag and tent. I decided I couldnt wait anymore and whether my packages came or not I would leave. Going back from breakfast and getting my ressuply together, I hung out. Happy had returned from his side trip to Half Dome and we waiting as people rolled in. Soon Happy Feet, Fuji, and Silver Fox came strolling into town! I hadnt seen them in quite a while and it was a really nice treat! We chatted on and hung out, then finally I watched as the car brining the pakcages to the post office rolled up.

No luck, no shoes, no new sleepin pad. We said our goodbyes and Happy and myself rolled out of Tolumne. About half way to camp on the Summer Soulstice, which so just happened to be naked hiking day, we got in our Naked PCT Mile. Ill be honest, it was pretty invigorating just rolling without clothes enjoying total freedom.

After thowing clothes back on we pushed the rest of the way to our camp passing rushing waterfalls and gorgeous granit sights. We soon met Lisa and Mike, a couple of backpackers out for the weekend. We decided to camp togeher and got a nice fire rolloing just as Feather rolled through and joined. It was nice to be back on the trail after so much wait!

Huarache – 29 – From Vancoover Canada. Doing a shoeless hike throughout the PCT. Has a “Zero Drop”, “Zero cushion”, “Zero Arch Support” which pretty much means you are barefoot. His sandles are homemade and only give a little protection to the ground. Has been hiking without shoes for 8 years now, and has continued to trek that way ever since. He stubbed a toe in the first 2 weeks and even though it looks gnarly but doesnt hurt a bit. Usually sheds a layer of skin every once in a while, a new calouse grows and he just keeps on trekkin. Usually wears socks in the snow, and the hot desert air on new skin has been the worst injuries for him. Hes confident in finishing and is walking home!


PCT Day 66+67: Mile 923-942.5 Donher Pass


6.18.18 + 6.19.18

Day 66: Donher Pass

Frost covered my tent, it was freezing cold! I got moving and my fingers were still witht the cold. Luckily I had found my gloves the night before, and I can only imagine that without them the pain would be much worse. I worked as quickly as I could and soon had my pack on, coffee in hand.

I waved goodbye to Tornado and let out. I climbed as I went, shaking off the cold of the morning in vein. This was the first time I had hiked out of camp with my leg baselayers on, and I was pretty happy that they were cozy. The views of the forest and the running creeks diverted my attention from the cold. The morning light shown through the trees and illuminated the trail.

Soon I stopped for water and to take off my leg baselayers. Snacking up as Tornado came into view. We chatted on for a bit, just before two JMTers arrived at the creek. We chatted with them as well before finally pressing on, up towards the pass. Snock patches lined the trail and after some rock hopping and log balancing the snowey pass came into sight.

I could feel the fatigue forom the night before as I climbed. The landscape was scattered with Marmots and not much of any other wildlife. Sitting ontop of the pass Tornado soon joined me. To the north we could see the valley that lead to Tuolumne and it was filled to the brim with tons of pine trees. Looking back the snowcapped moutnains of the Sierras staired back emotionless but seeming to long for our return.

I pressed on, down the switchbacks diving into Lyell Valley. The steps became steep and I passed JMTers left and right headed south. The look on their face wasnt much of pleasure as they hiked up the trail. Soon I hit the flat and for the next 8 miles just meandered through until finally reaching the Meadow. Day hikers started to appear and I knew I was close. Step after step I finally reached the Tuolumne Meadows Store. Happy, Ladybug, Sissyphus, Cowboy, and a group of other hikers were all hanging out front, eating and being merry!

I said hello, found my way to a burger, a cold beer, and finally camp just up the road. We all bantered on, and soon after making our way back, a nice group of hikers gathered around a warm fire, chatting on about our way of life and what brought us out. Up far past hiker midnight we all retired and crashed for the night.

Day 67: Tuelumne Meadows Zero

I woke late and Tornado, Happy, and Spice all hung out at the picknick table eating our breakfast. Happy was headed to the valley, Tornado back to the trail, and Spice and I chilled at the store in the morning.

I was waiting on shoes and a sleeping pad. We sat at a picnick table bantering on as people dropped food off that they didnt want in the middle. It was like a hiker free for all. I cooked up some fresh eggs a man dropped off, and with some free cheese and tortillas I started making freebees for anyone who was hungry.

In the afternoon, to my surprise my buddy Justin James from Phoenix rolled up! He was in Tuolumne visiting his girlfriend Joy who worked in the park. He had tracked me down with my SPOT tracker and rolled right up to the General Store where I was waiting for my package out front. It was great to see him and we ended up doing a little bouldering and chilling with his gal and friends in the area. What was a wait turned out to be a good day!

Hiker Profile:

Breeze (Dylan) – From LA, wokring as a freelance photographer/cenimatographer. Has worked for nat geo, Netflix ‘The First’, and a numver of other clients. Has no real schedule, and true with his name, but breezes on through the trail enjoying it as he desires. Perhaps post PCT he will open an Outfitters near Ashville NC. A big charismatic smile and good nature towards everyone makes him easy to like and chat with.

Breezes Vegan food

IG: DylanConrad

Spice (Katharina) 22 – From the Black Forest in Germany. Found out about the PCT from a girl that did the CDT in her hometown. She became interested and thought it would be fun. So post college, she decided to go for it. She studied Math as a bachelors in Frieborg, and will go back for her Masters. She rocks approach shoes to hike in, she had them at home and decided out of convinience to go with them. The first pair lasted until Mammoth, now she just keeps up the tradtion!


PCT Day 64+65: Mile 903-923 Thousand Island Lake



Day 64: Mammoth Resuppply

We resupplied in Mamoth. It was a nice little ski town. There was enough depth to explore and with free trollies and nice Cafes, it made getting chore done quick work.

We messed around the town until the last trolly out at 4:45 and was on it headed to Horseshoe Lake. Happy, Kevin, Lush, Reaper, Ladybug, Sissyphus, Vertigo, Trainwreck, and Cowboy all hiked the 0.6 miles to McCloud Lake to sleep for the night. The lake was awesome and we all sat on the beach chatting hang hanging out w our dinners and a few brews we packed out. It was indeed, a good day!

6.17.18: The slow walk.

My sleeping pad had been recently leaking at a pretty slow rate, after which I patched 2 holes I found. Only tonight, on a particularly cold night, the pad began rapid decompression. Every 45 minutes I would wake, cold, and my body on the ground from the deflated pad.

I must have moved quickly in the night because a muscle on my left side was enflamed and irritated. It hurt to agony and ny time I tried to relax it, the muscle would send searing pains to my brain. 1:45, 2:45, 3:45, I wouldnt sleep, and when finally 4:45came round. I got up and packed up to start hiking. It was the worst sleep on trail I’ve ever had.

I pressed out of camp first, and soon Reaper, then Lush followed. Reaper caught up to me, and with coffee in hand we chatted as we padded down the forested trail. He told me about where he was from and what he did before the PCT. We chatted on about bear attacks, wildlife, post PCT life, sports, anythin under the sun really.

Soon we had already hiked the 3 miles to the PCT and soon after the 4 miles to Devils Postpile. We decided to do the small side trip and check out the awesome basalt columns and learn how they were made while taking in their beauty.

Afterwards, Reaper pressed on and I scrambed around to get more pictures. Soon Ladybug came rolling through, asking about the rest of the crew, then pressed on himself. My back was still hurting and the exhaustion of the sleepless night was getting to me. I dragged along the trail. I tried to enjoy the creeks, mountains, flora, and fauna, but I was seriously dragging butt!

I pulled over, had a snack and resigned myself to a nice nap below a tree., Just 40minutes had passed and I woke once again, ready for the trail. I grogilly got up and pressed n, up and up through th switchbacks, across the Soda Springs trailhead, and finally into the valley that would lead me to the,Thousand Island Lake, and Island Pass.

Soon Tornado popped in behind me and we chatted on and hiking up hgiher towards the lake. Soon the magnificent Mt. Davis came into view and we both paused whatever conversation we were having in awe of the massive mountain!

After stopping for pictures we chatted on and hiked up until finally reaching a sutable camp. Soon Lush rolled in, and from our slower pace i learned that the guys had already gone over the pass. I was in no shape for that tonight, so the camp we made would have to do.

Tornado – 40s, Musician, from Roanoke Va. Went to school for meteorology and then got into music, making 4 albums and touring for 40,000 people. Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes. After finishing the AT in 2017 and a strange string of evens, he found himself single and on the PCT hiking north.

Reaper – 25, from San Francisco, went to Whitman college in Walla Walla for English. His mother was a wrighter and his father big into backpacking. Reaper was an unltarunner and a veagan. He worked in silicon valley with a startup that make plant based air cleaning devices for industrial buildings. Hes not sure what hell do with his life once finishing the PCT. One step at a time he says.

Outdoor Sierra Explorer Suggestion: Luor Pantilat


PCT Day 63: Mile 891-903 Mammoth



I opened my tent to the cool crisp air of the morning to find my shoes frozen solid. Welp, I guess thats how it goes sometimes, everyone seemed to be shaking off the cold. Packing up, one by one we let out of camp.

Down we dropped next to Virginia Lake and down into a swampy area where it seemed to be a challenge to stay dry. Tiptoeing with my heavy pack I made my way across the marsh, leaping from rock to rock, my right foot submerged. Dang! Not only was it cold as heck out, I now had a freezing cold foot. Sissyphus soon caught up and I warned him of the impending doom. He skipped and hopped and leaped, almost made it before leaping from a slippery log and dipped in his foot. Despite the mishap the views were gorgeous! Mirror lakes with the golden glow of the mountains in the background.

issyphus and I cranked on the new few miles chatting on about our lives, how we grew up and the decisions that brought us to the trail and hopes for the furutre. It was an amazing hike, snow covered moutnains in the distance while going through beautifully lush green forest. The trail went up and down and bobbed on. We pulled over for a break and watched the hikers coming and going. It seemed we were in the thick of it with both PCTers and JMTers on trail.

Sissyphus packed up before I did and started pressing on while I took in the view for a bit longer. I pushed the next miles alone and enjoyed the forest. Finally I found the junction to go to Mammoth and took it. Just 1 mile before reaching the trailhead I saw a familiar bearded face walking towards me. It was Smokebeard! He was in my first bubble I started hiking with and we chatted on catching up from our nearly monthseparation.

After waving goodbye I finished the trek and found a hitch into town where I met back up with Ladybug, Sissyphus, Reaper, Cowboy, Trainwreck, and Vertigo was there (Backster). Vertigo has pushed ahead of us from Tahachapi and was trekking with his Canadian high school friend Louis. He told us that Louis quite the trail and went home. A wierd feeling befell us all at the news. Sometimes people hike as much as they can, then they just cant anymore.

We got food and a hotel room. First time sleeping in a real bed in quite some time. It was a nice comfort, and I slept like a rock!!


PCT Day 62: 878.5-891 Virginia Lake



We all slept in an extra hour after all the good food and visiting we had the night before. Now we were reunited with Cowboy, Ladybug, Sissyphus, Happy, and myself were ready to hit the trail. The big boat wasnt ready so it gave us an excuse to have a lazy morning and send more money having breakfast at VVR.

After hanging out and chatting with other hikers un the waiting area, drinking coffee, eating honeybuns, and going on about the trail, Paint finally road up on a 4Wheeler and in a loud voice announcede that we would be ready to leave in 5 minutes! A cheer came from all of the hikers and we were soon on the water buzzing across the calm lake back to the trailhead were we would “get back to work” (as Paint put it) and start hiking again.

It felt good to get my feet back on the dirt, and we were moving! We had 3000 feet inside of 6 miles before reaching Silver Pass and we really had our work cut out. We hiked on and up trying to keep our feet as dry as possible. At one creek crossing, Sissyphus did some fancy rock hopping, and I followed. My pack was much heavier with a full resupply and I barely made the jumps that Sissyphus’s long legs did with ease. Happy came up behind us and after hopping to the first rock was caight off balance tried to reverse his course but had one of the strangest falls I had ever seen. It was like the momentum of his pack sent him in 2 tumbling summersalts, into the water and back to the bankl. He was just fine and crossed the creek by fording as the rocks had won this round.

We pressed on, but not before Sissyphus found himself a nice beautful waterfall where we couldnt resist but to strip down and jump into. He was delighted, but cold as hell! Enough messing around we pressed on adn really got to work on the pass. There were onlya few snow patches and after some navigation and obstacle avoidance, we all reached the top. We sat there in the sun and had a nice lunch together att chattering on. Sissyphus equated it to the Shawshank Redemption scene where all the guys were tarring the roof and Andy Dufrain got some beer for all the guys. The sights were incredible and I couldnt agree with his analogy more.

We finally got moving again and glacaded as many snow patches as possible before all grouping back together and snaking through the lake riddled valley. We trekked on through the lush green forest chatting on about running, the Olympics, and new sports coming to the event. Before long we came to the final ascent.

I paused to filter water and Ladybug with Reaper (a newly foudn friend at Silver Pass) pressed on. I gathereed my water, chatted with Sissyphus as he passed telling him the camp plant before packing up. I had 900 feet of gain and just 1.5 miles to camp. I was like a pig in crap, I found my little zone and just hammered up the hill. Switchback after switchback I took on the gain, not falling back or giving up pace. It felt good to push, and after some good heartpumping trail with incredible views all around I reached the top of my climb and the camp for the night.

I gathered water and the crew trickled in. Ladybug, Sissyphus, Cowboy, Happy, and now Reaper joined in. It was a solid crew and we all had good fun hiking together. The sun set on the mountains in the distance and after the usual nightly routine we crawled into our tents and found restfull slumber.


PCT Day 61: Mile 862.5-878.5 VVR



We woke early, eager to gain Selden Pass and get to VVR. There was no sign of the killer mosquitoes we encountered the night before as I poked my head out of the tent in anticipation. Happy let out of camp first, then me, leaving Sissyphus and Ladybug not far behind.

We bounded up the trail in the cool morning before the sun shown down on the west side of the pass. Gorgeous mountain lakes laid dorment and we enjoyed the mirror reflections in them as we passed. Soon Ladybug and Sissyphus caught up and the we pushed up the pass together. Dodging creeks and navigating snow patches, we followed switchback after switchback until we finally topped the pass! The rolling stones (a 10-12 person group) were hanging at the top and Weezer (the girl we helped get up Mt. Whitney) was ecstatic to see us! “Hey guys!” She exlaimed and went on to say how she told her group and we had been labeled Wezzers Whitney Booys. We were glad to meet back up and we said hey to the group and snapped a few pictures over the pass.

It was time to bomb on down and Ladybug headed up the charge down the snowpatched trail, skirting beautiful lakes, doding mudd pudles, and creeks overflowing the trail. It was a cool section and we meandered on until we found a great lunch spot just before the final climb. We sat in the sun on a large granit rock eating lunch and joking on about whatever came to mind. Someone realized they had signal and a few people messaged home.

Up we were and it was time to put this baby to bed. We started up the switchbacks and really got after the gain. We chatted as we went and found out that Happy actually was the captin of the diving team in college and he went on to tell us all about his fav flips, to challenging the swim team on meets, and how he stumbled into it never diving before (a walk-on). Before we knew it we were at the top of the gain and we once again met up with the rolling stones.

We bombed down the other side together, Ladybug and Sissyphus pressed on and Happy and Myself hept witht he boys of the Stones and ripped the long downhill. It was most definity a chage in environment and it was much more like a jungle on the north side. A little humid, and so so green. We finally reached the junction to VVR, the sotnes all waited back for the rest of their group and Happy and me pressed on.

It seemed like the longest 1.5 miles of my life, I think I was just ready to be at the ferry dock. It was pretty but I was ready to be done. Finally we reached the NE end of Edison Lake were a small boat was bringing just 4 hikers at a time back and forth to the resort on the far side of the lake. We met back up w the boys, stretched together, then Happy and I jumped in the water foor a quick dip.

Chatting on in like I looked back to see that Cowboy was there! “Hey man!” He was supposed to be 2 days ahead of us when we parted ways and he continued north as Ladybug, Sissyphus, and I went out of Kearsarge to resupply. He told me his tail, he took a wrong pass at Mather and was in no mans land. Had a heck of a time getting back, took a fall, and was all beat to heck and back. “Holy crap Cowboy!” I exclaimed. After seeing he was alright for the most part the ferry had just pulled up and it was my time to go.

An older fella named Paint Your Wagon drove the boat and definitly had a funny personality. He went on about his job and how he had a heart attack last year. Soon after the small boat bobbed across the water we arrived. The next few hours were filled with setting up tents, getting a steak dinner, a few cold bears, and grabbing my reupply box from the store. The place is admittedly a little expensive, but having a place out here in the middle of nowhere isnt free to run! We settled in for the night, what a great day!

Hiker Profile:

Boyscout + Racoon

A german couple from the black forest. They love backpacking and being outdoors. After being inspired by the book and movie Wild, they decided to pack up their things and come hike the PCT. Raccoon had been dreaming of a package her sister sent her in Mammoth full of rich delicious German chocolate!

Ig: Alexreilan


PCT Day 60: Mile 838.5-862.5 Evolution Valley + Basin



I woke in the Muir Hut surprised at the warms the 7 bodies inside managed to muster despite the cold temps at 1200 ft. Syssyphus, Ladybug, Happy, Opa, Biscuit, Shopping Cart, an myself occupied the hut on the pass. It was the second awesome camp we had made in 2 days, and I was really appreciative.

Stepping outside into the crisp air, the snow was hard from the nights temps. Postholing seemed to be a thing of yesterday as all of us but the Marmot Murderers (as we affectionatly nicknamed Shopping Cart and Buscuit) headed out facing north, racing the rising sun.

We chatted as we hiked, and I really enjoyed the freeing feeling of just following a terrain or landscape rather thn being bound to the confines of a trail. We decneded and Ladybug continued to post hole. He wasnt the happies camper by the time we reached dry land. Soon after the snow let up we found Opa chilling by a snowmelt fed lake, Happy and myself opted to take a dip. After stripping down I jumped in cannonball style, amused at the ice chunk that went floating by. After a nice sun drying, chatting with the crew, and making some nice coffee we were all less than enthused to move.

It was necessary and we pushed on, decending into the canyon that soon turned from granit walls to forest and vegitated mountainsides. We trekked on, seperating by pace, and I soon happened upon Happy about to cross the Evolution River. I opted to join him and we both waded into the icey current. The water seemed to rise as we pushed on, hobbling over the rounded creekbed stones. It wsnt until the last 20 ft that the current really became agressive, and we fought inch by inch until sucessfully standing on the other side.

After a quick break we were off again, soon decending to our lowest elevation of the day and twisting and winding following the furocious river that was made by snowmelt. After gathering water below a bridge, Lewis showed up! I hadnt seen the guy in quite a while and we caught up before pressing on.

The last hill of the day was a big boy, weighing in at 1700 lbs inside 3 miles. I pressed on, just grinding out the miles and sweating every step of the way. I could tell it was getting later and watched the sun start to show its golden stripes through the trees and leaves. Finally after a few grueling miles, I pulled into camp. I was pretty tuckered out and set up my tent as fast as I could as the mosquitoes here were absolutely terrible! Ladybug and Sissyphus warned me as soon as I walked up, but before the words got out of their mouths, I got bit 3 times. From the confines of my tent I stretched, made food, and was soon too tired to keep my eyes open.

Hiker Profile:

Opal- 25, from Buffilo NY. Very independent, hiking alone, and she waits for noone. She helped wrangle horses in Montana for the past 3 summers and finds that shes is most at home in the outdoors. PCT seemed to be a natural progression for her, so here she is, taking on the long distance trail solo!


PCT Day 59: Mile 820.5-838.5 Muir Pass



We woke next to the Palisde Lake, what a magical place! By far the best campsite I’ve had on the PCT to date. It was chilly and pulling myself from my war sleeping bag was all the motivation I need to get my butt going on the trail.

The sun had yet to hit us as I let out. Ladybug and Sissyphus weren’t far behind and Happy and Pickle seemed to be taking their time. The trail bombed down from the lake and followed a beautiful cascading waterfall as it did. Down and down it went and it really felt good to get the legs going. I paused for a picture when Ladybug and Sissyphus rounded the corner. We bombed down the canyon as a trio and chatted on about political history.

The granit towering walls were the theme of the day and continued all the way down, even once we walked back into treeline. We all pulled over for a break to check out an old washed out footbridge and Happy and Pickle come strolling in. Pickle was getting off at Bishop pass to meet his fiance and we bid him a goodbye as he pressed on.

We had reached the bottom of the canyon and it was time to climb. We hiked up and on, checked out the roaring creek, wandering deer, and lush green meadows below the surrounding granit cliffs. It was a wounderland.

Soon after leaving tree line again our wounderland turned to winterland. Snow patches that had been feeding the roaring rivers reared their heads, but we were determined. Ladybug and I pressed on as we were seperated from Happy and Sissyphus after taking a break hidden up high from trail.

We hiked on, postholing in the snow, crossing ice bridges above raging rivers, and seldomly scampering across some exposed rock. It was pressy sweet and I was loving the trailless mountaineering approach to the ascent. We climbed up to a beautiful glacier lake half covered in ice and filtered a bit of water.

As soon as we rounded the ridge we saw Happy and Sissyphus having a break on a rock. “Whats up guys!” We were happy to find them as it woud have been a nightmare trying to manage the pass and figuring out of we should pwait or go on without them. We pressed the last snow covered slopes together. Step after atep until finally Muir Stone House came into view!

This would be our camp for the night and we were extatic to fially have arrived. We all cooked up dinner as hikers came rolling in. Opa, Shoppin Cart, Buscuit, and Feather. Feather only stayed for a moment, long enough to share some food and drink with us. Buscuit and Shopping cart seemed hell bent on catching a nearby marmot. I let them be not thinking they could do it, until my surprise they did. Something in me had to protest and I said they should prbably let the lil fella go. Once that whole ordeal was over, we all settled down and watched the sun set over the mountains. What an action packed incredile day. To top it off we wouod be sleeping in a little mountain paradise!


PCT Day 58: Mile 802.5-820.5 Palisade Lakes



“Pain reatains! This is how we learn lessons” – Pickle

I woke and it was go time. Packed up, and was moving before 6am, headed towards the Pinchot Pass. Apparenly that was on everyone elses minds as well and we pushed for the sow covered pass. Up and on we went through the shaded morning. The sun finally went to work on the high cliff walls surrounding us. I hopped over a creek crossing, looked back to take a picture, and there was Ladybug headed up trail. I waved and pressed on.

Up and on we went, he caught me and we chatted for a moment before he pulled over to strip his puffy jacket. I pressed on, and as I climbed I found that the water covered trail turned to ice. I hopped and skipped rockers where I could and just kept pressing on. Then log snow patches came in, I crossed them with relative ease as they were still hard form the mornings chill. I passed a JMTer and said good morning as he muttered about Oxygen problems, but seemed fine. It was kind of like paying the lava game as a kid, but instead you were avoiding water, ice, and postholing in the snow.

After some time I finally reached the headwall of the pass and soon Ladybug joined me for the final push. Across snow patches, back onto the bare trail, and back again we climbed until we were crossing the last switchback. We stopped and took in the view taking pictues and chatting on. We stopped ontop of the pass for snacks. Soon Happy and a new friend Pickle came popping over the pass. “Where is Sissyphus?” Paul and I asked. It seemed no one had seen him for some time. Paul got up and walked down the pass until finally finding him tucked near a rock. He joined and we all joked on, and took in the views.

We pressed down the north face in the large group. I had my iceaxe out and tried to glisade wherever possible. Man it was great fun sliding down on decent ice! We reached the bottom of the pass and took a quick pause to check out a lake. A nearby marmot kept poking its head out from under a boulder. Ladybug joked on about catching it and eating it for dinner as I stripped down and made a flying leap from a lakeside boulder into the nearly freezing icey waters. Whew man that will wake you up!

We pressed on as a group and I found myself chatting with Pickle quite a lot. We went on about alcohol laws, gun laws, hunting laws, and all the differences between states. Pickle was an avid flyfisherman and hunter of water foul, that is when he isnt hiking. We went on and on and the miles mealted away. Soon we found our first big waterford and without hesitation we all just went for it, plundging in, up to our thighs in fridged waters. The next few miles were the same rythm of water crossings and beautful forests while chattin on.

We paused for a quick break until everyone but Happy (who seemed temporarily MIA) showed up. We hiked on towards Mather Pass. On and up we went hopping across snow patches until finally reaching the switchbacks and after a heardy push we all made it to the top. Breaking on a nice sitting rock we just lookedforward towards the snow covered fields ahead. Soon we pressed on and post holed, slip and slided, and glicaded when we could down the north face into the valley and finally finding once again, the PCT.

The next miles were spectactular as a mountain lake came into view. The water was perfectly clear and all around waterfalls trickled down the snowmelt to feed the thirsty lake. This is one of the most beautiful places ive ever seen. We skirted the lake and finally came down on a green grass knoll of the far side and decided there was no contest, we had to camp here. Sissyphus, Ladybug, Pickle, and myslef set up shop and just got through eating dinner as Happy came rolling into camp. “Happy!!!” everyone yelled. We were all glad to see him and he said he was tuckered out! He set up tent as well and we all receeded to our tents, getting ready for the next days haul.

Hiker Profile:

Pickle (Dillan) 36, from Pennsylvania. An avid hunter and fisherman. He seemed like a good ol boy, very friendly and had a great sense of humor. Could make just about anyone laught and fit right it in the groups smart alic attitude. Hiked the AT in 2016, and planned to do the CDT in 2020. His fiance was coming out to meet him and he would be coming off trail to hang out in Tahoefor 5 days.

Reading suggestion: The North Pond Hermet


PCT Day 57: Mile 788.5-802.5 Rae Lakes



Water, water, everywhere . . .

We woke next to Flower Lake and started getting goign. There was something about getting off the PCT, Hiking 7miles over a pass, just to pick up 5 days of food and hike back. A necessary evil, but still something none of us enjoyed doing, fretted it actually. Our only concelation was the really cool hostel we stayed at in the town of Biship. So that was the mood as we packed up and got rolling.

It was windy on the pass as we began to climb. We were all still shaking off the morning chill and Ladybug, Sissyphus, Happy, and myself grinded out the hike. Up and up we went, and the golden morning light with the incredible views went great lengths to soften the blow of the climb. Soon we topped it, and dumped down onto the west side of Kersarge pass where the sun had yet to warm. It 6was downhill to the PCT and Bullfrog Lake was looking especially awesome!

Finally back on we headed north,up throuhg the valley snaking our way through until finally finding the switchbacks that lead to Glenn Pass. WE ran into a few other hikers as we pressed on, even met a few people hiking the JMT. The gain became hardy and the pace slowed as we climbed. Only a few patches of snow remained on the south side. Switchback after switchback we climbing until finally conquoring the beast and standing atop the pass.

The north side was covered in snow, but ot had been kicked out pretty well. We stopped for a snack as we watched a group of JMTers carefully crossing the snowpacked north face. We had already been tempered in the snow of Forester Pass and were all excited to see if we could glicade some of the patches. We hurridly hiked across, joking around in hight spirits. The snow at the top was hard and steep but as we decended we found a few nice patches to glicade and play on.We were soon at the bottom of the pass and started hiking towards Rae Lakes.

The lakes were incredible, clear as a bell and twice as cold. They still looked so inviting, and after hiking for a mile or so, we stopped for lunch and Ladybug and I did a little cliff jumping! Whew boy talk about cold. As soon as my body hit the water it took my breath away! After sufacing and grabbing some air I realized it wasnt so back, swam back and climbed the face back to the rock I leaped from. The sun went to drying us off and we all chatted and snacked.

It was time to roll and we headed north through the canyon. It sure was gorgeous, snowcovered mountains towered around us and crystal clear lakes with rumbling waterfalls feeding them. It was a mountin paradise! After trekking down the canyon for some miles we came to a full on suspension bridge that only allowed 1 hiker to dcross at a time, it was soooo cool!

After chilling for a break below the bridge, we pressed the final miles to camp. We were just 5 miles from the pass, it was the last sheltered area to camp before it, and it was like a hiker free for all. We were all spead out, so I decided to climb a little higher and found a nice little 1 man pas high on the rocks above. I plopped here for the night and snuggled in for what was sure to be a cold and windy night. Tomorrow the pass awaited, and we were ready!


PCT Day 56: Mile 788.5 Bishop



Here we are at the Hotel California . . . Such a lovely place

Ladybug, Happy, Sissyphus and myself all rented a room at The Hostel California. It was such a cool place, very hiker friendly, and felt very welcoming and communal. We went down to find free fresh eggs, bread, and coffee for breakfast! There were townclothes to borrow, bikes to ride around town, free wifi, showers, a chill area to hang out, tv with a ton of movies, and games galore.

We sat at the breakfast table, most of us journaling, having breakfast and joking around and sharinf trail stories. It was pretty darn nice. Once done, we cleaned out the room, went into town, did laundry, had lunch, resupplied food, packed our bearcans to the brims and caught the 1:15pm bus back to Independance from Bishop for 6.50$

After catching an uber to the trailhead we just sat for some time and chatted. Brews from a gas station and assorted snacks made our dinner as we talked about different people we had met on the trail and our personal perspectives on what we were actually doing out here. None of us were psyched to get back on the trail right away and this was a nice way to recharge from all the stress of running around town and getting all your chores done.

It sounds silly, but getting off the trail and going into town can be stressful. It nice to have places like the hostel and good friends to help along the experience and make the resupply experience a little more livable.

We headed out, pushing up the switchbacks back towards Kearsarge Pass. It felt good to move again after the break and we miles melted away. We soon found ourselves at Flower Lake just 2.5 miles in and set up camp for the night. Even getting a few miles away from the main trailhead felt nice. We chatted and joked before tucking into our tents. We all really appreciated the chance to have a unique experience like the PCT. We all have our reasons for being here, all had different ways of arriving in Campo, sacrifices we had to make, but none the less, here we all are. Enjoying the trail and enjoying each others company.

Ladybug and Sissyphus, pretending to be stormtroopers . . . It happens

Hiker Profile:

Happy – 33, From upstate NY, but now lives in Seattle. He is well chracterized by his name, always pretty chipper and upbeat. He worked as a software designer creating tools for graphics designers for the game Halo. After a not so great breakup, he is here to explore the outdoors and do something for himself for a change. He has a great outlook on life and is a really geniune guy.


PCT Day 55: Mile 774-788.5 Forester + Kearsarge Pass



Sometimes the road to Subway seems longer than it should!

I was wet when I woke. The humidity from the nearby creek made the cold even colder but none the less, it was time to move. Packing up, Sissyphus, Ladybug, and I were all ready to roll by 6. Forester pass was on all our minds.

We trekked up and out of the valley before coming to the Tyndall river where we met Nemo considering his options to ford. A few hop, skips, and leaps of faith landed all of us safely on the other side of the river. He joined up with us and we all chatted on as we hiked towards the pass.

The snow patches started to appear and before long we found ourselves stairing up at the pass. We strapped on our microspikes and pulled out the iceaxes as we ascended. It was an arduous push, but soon we were all past the snow patches and onto the rock safely hiking up the switchbacks. The final snow traverse was across a chute would be pretty bad if you were to slip here. We carefully crossed, step after step, whew! Made it!

Finally we stood ontop of the pass at 13,200 ft, the boarder of Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon NP. The snow on the north side looked pretty nice and after a ton of pictures we started to decend. All the way down to 9500 feet we walked the beautiful canyon. My feet were wet by the time we all met up for camp. Pulled the shoes off and let them dry out as we snacked. We met a fella named Grench at our break spot. We all soon came to the same conclusion, that the guys name was well earned. The optitomy of “Keep your eyes on your own paper”, he seemed so concerned with our plans for resupply and taking in the trail. Everyone is out there on their own mission, but he seemed to be the first one I met that thought that thru hiking was dumb.

We pressed on. It was a grueling hike to the top of Kearsarge Pass. The views were incredible and the only consolation to the hard hike (or seamingly heard after the day summiting Mt Whitney and crossing the Forester Pass that morning). We were all pretty beat and for the next 4.5 miles we descended with Happy who caught up to us. We all fantasized about Subway and went on at length about what we would get on our sandwiches.

It seemed never ending, but we finally reached the trailhead. Car after car passed us with no sucess to having our thumbs stuck out. After about half an hour a fella names Jeff stopped off and opened is car to us. He was so nice of a buy, nopt only did he give us a ride down from the mountain, but also gave us a ride all the way into Bishop (a 30 mile drive). We celebrated his genorocity and chatted on the ride.

Finally we arrived at The Hostel California, an awesome spot that was only 25$ a night and was super hiker friendly. They had bikes to ride around town, hiker box, hiker food. Well worth the price. Soon after finding food in town and having a cold beer, we all passed out like a robot shutting down.

Hiker Profile:

Nemo – 22 Mars Years Old – Well read, pretty fabulous fella that Hiked the AT in 2014. He loves the America culture and the thru hiker lifestyle. Enjoys how people come to reinvent themselves and immerse in alternative lifestyles. He looks at a thru hike as playing in the woods. Exploreing and of being in small scale society is very interesting. The people are kinder, nicer, and you can feel more at home. He studied Biological and Anthropology masters at The University of Michigan and did his undergrad at UofA in Biology and Math. He is an ulstralighter and has a spriatic hiking style. Sometimes hell hike 50 miles, other times, 30, then 10, have some zeros, then do three 40 milers back to back. The definition of social butterfly, he flutters from group to group getting to know everyone and loves to chat.

Jeff – Works for LA times, gave us a ride all the way to Bishop, what an awesome guy!


PCT Day 54: Mile 767-774 Mt Whitney + Mt Muir



The top of the world is in reach

You know its going to be a great day when your alarm blasts at 1am! We set up camp just 7.5 miles below the summit of Mt Whitney and we went to bed at 6pm to prepare ourselves foe the journey. Both Ladybug and Sissyphus had never been above 12000 ft and I was stokede to accompany them on their first 14er!

It was chilly and we were up and moving, not saying much as we trekked quickly through the darkness via headlamp. We could see some headlamps in the distance and knew a few people had already started up. Soon after rounding a corner we heard a voice and a headlamp shine on us “Hey! Casn I come with you guys? I got lost and seperated from my group” The voice wimpered. Ladybug pipped up, “Sure thing!” And that how we met Weezer. We sandwihed here in the group and we pressed on.

She told us she was feeling queezy from being sick the day before and she had missed her group leaving that morning. In trying to catch them, the guys had too quick of a pace and she got turned around. After hiking and chatting a bt, we started to realizr that Weezer was suffering from altitude sickness. She mentioned her stomach not feeling great and possibly puking. WE stopped and asked her to make the call. If she went to the peak we would go with her, if she turned back then she should be able to find her way easily. And if she puked . . . well there is only 1 way to go but down. After she sat for a second she decided to press on and I grabbed her pack putting it on my chest and carrying it along with mine. I was slackpacking so my weight was pretty light. We laid down a solid pace and just started marching up the switchbacks through the dark.

Patches of snow would come on and we would take our time and overcome the obstacle. Time and time againi we did until taking a break at the Whitney Trail and JMT junktion. Sissyphus brewedup some hot chocolate and we snacked down all bundles up trying to hold off the cold.

It was time to press on and as we did we could see the moon shining on the rock faces adjacent to the switchbacs we were ascending, it was gorgeous! We kept after it and the white glow from the moon started to fade and the blue of morning started wokring in. Blues turned to pinks, turned to oranges, turned to yellows. The sun was doing its thing and the light flooding onto the sentinal peaks surrounding us was one of the most beautiful sights you could see.

We trekked on skirting the ridgeline, avoiding ice, and carefully navigating fozen ice patches as we came upon them. When we finally reached the last 0.5 miles and the last patch of snow was behinf us I gave Weezer her pack back, and we all pressed for the peak! The sun had just rissen as we summited and it was one hell of a view!

After phone calls and photo shoots we made our way back down the trail. On the way I suggested we stop and summit Muir while we were at it. It was a class 3/4 scramble and the guys seemed keen. WE ascended the rocky slopes that lead to the granot blocks of the climb. One move after another we carefully climbed, and after some slab climbing, hand jamming, and all around fun scrmbling, we touched the top of Mt Muir. What a great day!!!

Wasting no time we headed back down the long switchbaks, through the glacier lake area, and finally to campo where we all crashed hard for a long hour nap.

Our work wasnt dine yet and we packed up camp and hiked another 7 gorgeous miles through some of the prettiest ladscape ive seen. Snow capped mountains, gorgeous green meadows, sequoia trees, golden light from the end of the day, every step was worth it. We settled in our camop just next to Tyndall Creek in a great position to take Forester Pass, just 4 miles away. The pass should be hiked early, before the snow losses its ridgidity and becomes less stable. At any rate, it was one hell of an awesome day!


PCT Day 53: Mile 751-767 Whitney Basecamp



Planning is half the fun!

We woke to ice on our bear canisters and on the inside of our tents. Musta got a little chilly last night! I heard Sissyphus and Ladybug stirring in their tents as I started packing up. The lake the night before was beautiful and as I hiked out of camp, the morning light did it some great justice too!

Ladybug was close behind me as I pulled out of camp and for the next few miles we just took in the views and chatted about life. We would point to twisted sequoias, then chat about lifes plans awaiting us after the trail. Its nice tto just BS and have some trail talk as you are meandering through and both getting high on the same views.

Ladybug pulled off and I pressed on in silence, watching the squirrels and chimpmunks scamper as they caught sight of me. What a gorgeous morning, the light was gleeming through the trees and before I knew it I was at a creek crossing and 9 miles behind me. Woot! I found a lare log to cross over and plopped down for nice break.

Soon after snacking down, sewing a hole in my smartwool gloves, and packing up my bag the fellas came rolling around the corner. I told them about the log and the both happily crossed. Cowboy came stomping up to the crossing, I told him about the log as well. He looked in that direction, then at the creek, and walked right in like it was nothing. Cowboy is a funny fella.

The gain was on! The 4 of us let out from the creek and it was Ladybug in the lead, myself following, Sissyphus, and lastly Cowboy. The grind up the switchback covered mountainside was grueling. It was just what I was looking for! Up and up we went twisting through the pines, breathing in calculated breaths in the higher altitude. After what seemed like an hour, Ladybug and I topped out the big up and contintue to press on towards camp.

The seqoiuas and pines were gorgeous, and like curtains, just barely covered the towering granite moutnains behind. On and on we went until we finally dumped into a meadow the would be our approach for Whitney summit. We grabbed water, and took a rest before pushing onto camp near the Ranger Station. We were positioned for a 1:30am leave time which would put us at the top of the continental US at sunrise. I was excited for the challenge, but I needed to sleep. We all did, and crawling into our beds at 6pm, we were rimed and ready!


PCT Day 52: Mile 728-751 Chick Spring Lake



Of the Seven Dwarves, Grumpy has the greatest jokes . . . You’d literally die if he ever told one!

I woke up on the wrong side of the sleeping pad. Ill try and make this short.

1) It was chilly, and soon after trekking my left wristband to my trekking pole break. I put it in my hipbelt pocket to find later that it fell out during a break.

2) My sleeping pad went flat in the night, which means I’d have to play Where’s Waldo with the tiny hole, or it had gotten so cold that the pressure dropped (ive yet to determine which is right answer).

3) After trekking for a few miles I heard from other hikers that there was phone signal at mile 732. I hadn’t had signal for days and I was excited to call and chat with my people . . . no signal! I climbed ontop of rock pilars, rock mounds, any highpoint I saw (an older fella Lucky looked at me like I was crazy) just to find out later that it was AT&T and not Verizon that had the tower . . . phone battery down 30%.

4) At one point I took off my backpack, and in doing so something caught my neacklace, and broke it sending the 2 rings I had on there flying. I watched helplessly as they fell into 2 different granit cracks. My heart fell and I searched frantically. After finding the first and contourting my hand to find the second. I somehow miraculously recovered the lost rings. Whew!

Alright now that we got that much of the day out of the way, lets get lunch and try to enjoy the rest! It was actually very beautiful out. The pine trees were gorgeous and the distant views of mountains were magestic. The temps were great in the sun and it was a good day for trekking.

The group seemed to keep on missing each other. First I saw Cowboy, and then Ladybug, and finally I caught up with Sissyphus and threw a snowball at him. Joking around with the fellas and the great views really turned my mood.

We trekked on and up finally finding Cottonwood Pass, which of course was gorgeous, and then Chick Spring Lake, our camp for the night. I got to borrow Sissyphus’s phone and make a call from Cottonwood Pass which made me feel btter too. By the time we got to camp, jumped in the freezing lake, and made dinner, it was only 7:30. Despite the morning upsets, I really enjoyed the day, the people, and the views the trail had to offer!


PCT Day 51: Mile 705-728 The Swallow Bridge



The birds, the birds!!

I woke in the night looking up at the clear sky through my flyless tent, it was nice. I staggered out of my tent, used the restroom and made it back through the dark to lay down just half an hour before my alarm blasted.

Up with the sun, down with the sun, its the thru hiker way. I was soon on my feet all packed up, including bear canister and ice axe, ready for the snow. Pack heavy I carried on, the guys were up and I waved bye as I pressed on.

The trail snaked through the pine forest before finally entering a large valley where we gained a saddle. Through the miles I met Data with Heaven, and saw Kathryn trailside taking a break by the creek. Data and Heaven were Ultralight boys, I could never figure out how having no hipbelt was good for your back . . .

We trekked on up and past the saddle before settling down into the open meadow beyond. It was nice trekking, we could see snowcapped mountains in the distance. Bend after turn we finally came to a foot bridge. The coolest thing about the footbridge is that its underside was infested with Swallows who were highly active! They would bob in and out of their little nests then fly off together in a big circle soon returning. It was mezmirizing to watch them work and I sat creek side. Soon Ladybug, Cowboy, and Sissyphus joined.

It was the nicest and best break ive ever taken on the PCT. I got in the water, it was invigorating but not frigid. I dried out in the sun, had a snack, chatted, and somehow managed to take a nap. I almost felt guilty there by the creekside, then looking around and seeing all the other hikers that arrived and followed suite, it made it not so much of a guilty pleasure.

None the less it was time to press on. I packed up and headed out, waving bye to the boys. The open high desert lead to a pine forest which had some nice overheade coverage which was nice because the gain started picking up. The granite boulders started showing themselves and this seemed like the Sierras I know from past trips. Tall pines, white rock and white padded trail. The gain was constant and a good 2500 feet later I found Ladybig chilling by a rock. I joined and enjoyed the chance to chill. We chatted on joking around as Cowboy and Sissyphus rolled in joining.

It was just 3.9 miles to water and we all strolled them with ease. The views were amazing and the afternoon light lit of the rocks and trees in its own special golden way. Finally we arrived and after dinner, filtering , and stretches, soon found ourselves tucked away in our tents as the sun set. A great day indeed!

Hiker Profile:

Data – 27, from Vermont. A fairweather hiker, he chose the PCT as it first his nature best. Managed a production facility that made baked goods for 5 years before deciding to do something different. An ultralight hiker, carrying very light gear and little of it. He boasted that him and heaven would do 35 miles on average and sometimes 40. They took no breaks and hiked from dawn to dusk.

Kathryn: 30s/40s very nice and well mannered gal from Portland. Always wanted to do the PCT, was actually discouraged when the book and movie Wild came out as the trail was swamped with hikers. She said it seemed like a good year, and the traffic has diminished, so it seemed right!


PCT Day 50: Mile 702-705 Sierra South Wilderness



Kennedy Meadows is the south gate to the Sierras. We woke the next morning, ready to resupply and get after it! We grabbed some pancakes, hashbrowns, and coffee to start the morning off right.

The name of the game was go to Grumpy Bears and the Outfitters a few miles away, then come back and do laundry, take a shower, have a last real meal before hitting the road.

Cowboy stayed behind and Ladybug, Sissyphus and I hit the Outfitters and Grumpy bears for lunch. Pausing to play a few games of pool on their rockity table, then headed back to the general store.

My package hadn’t arrived yet and I was nervous that if it didnt arrive on the Saturdy (today) I’d be stranded there for 2 more days waiting on my gear and food. When I got back I found that I was in luck!

Packing the bearcan, extra clothes, 5 days of food, and iceaxe into and on the outside of my pack was a feat all in and of itself. I was ready and soon were the boys. I grabbed the last drying shirt from the clothesline and threw it in my bag as we all took off for the trail.

The feeling was that we couldnt get stuck there another night and a riverside camp was just what the doctor ordered! We let out trekking on through the open desert before finally coming to a pine forest and a sign that said Sierra South Wilderness. We had made it!

Soon afer the sign we found an awesome camp just off the river and settled in. I went flyless tonight hoping for good stars. It was a good solid day and after seeing many hikers and nice things in town, it was time to get back to the reason we are out here, the wilderness!


PCT Day 49: Mile 676-702



Knock knock . . . . whos there?!

It was strange to think of how far I had already come. Over 25% of the trail complete and less than 2000 miles to go. I went over this in my head as I hit my alarm to a snooze. It got cold that night, just at 6800 ft, I could only think of sleeping in the Sierras above 11,000 ft and most likely on top of a patch of ice.

I was up and packed, saying by to the fellas and trodding off down the trail. The chill clung to the moring and it didnt help that I was trekking in the shadow of the moutnain all morning. I put my buff up over my face and trekked on through the pines. Down down down the trail went before I finally came across a creek for a water resupply.

I plopped down filtering a few liters as Cowboy, Sissyphus, and Ladybug came trekking in. We chatted and snacked, joking about the trail and chatting about how windy it was yesteray. Packing up once again we pushed off. Holding a good pace up the final hill of the day I smelled smoke. “Paul, do you smell that?!”. He laughed “Yup, just lit one up!” He was hiking behind me with a lit cigarette and I busted out laughing. Not only was he puffing away, but also holding pace like nobodys business!

Sissyphus pulled in behind and the 3 of us pressed the next few miles to the high point of the day where we first really got to see the snowcapped Sierras. We took it in, snapped pictures, and knew we were close to the Sierras doorstep. We trekked on, through the winding canyon that finally spit us out into the basin that lead to Kennedy Meadows. We stopped at a creek and kicked back for a nice relaxing hour break.

We got up and pushed the last 8.5 miles through the winding valley. It seemed that we were still in high desert and went in and out of patches of pines. We turned a corner and all of the sudden a gorgeous creek came audibilally and visually rushing into my life. It was crystal clear and gorgeous and accompanied the final miles in. Once I got to the road a burly man with a long white beard on a grey pickup truck answering to the name of Dave asked me if I wanted a ride. Soon Cowboy and Sissyphus came rambling in. Ladybug had already caught the last ride and was waiting for us at the general store when we arrived.

It was time for beer, burger, and rechanging the batteries. What a great day. Trekking all day just to come in and relax with friends and when you arrived everyone clapped giving you a heros reception. It wasn’t home, but it was a pretty decent concelation.

Hiker Profile:

Horseie and Rooster (Alex) 25 from LA, hiking by horseback. He bought his mustang from the BLM for 125$ at Ridgecrest. He tamed him, himself and was all set to go for the long haul. He started in January of all months and had come off the trail twice waiting for snw to met. With a big smile and his full cowboy gear on Rooster gave me the rundown on Horsie and I petted his head and neak. What a cool way to trek the PCT!


PCT Day 48: Mile 651-676 Sierra Foothills



Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home . . .

We all slept in! The alarm blasted and I slapped the snooze, a second time, and a third! Finally around 5:45 I started moving around groggily getting my things together. It was nice to lie in every once in a while and once I popped my head out of my tent I found the Sissyphus (Heddi), Ladybug (Paul), and Cowboy (Mike) had all done the same.

But none the less the miles weren’t going to walk themselves. We got rolling and headed out as a group. We soon crossed Highway 178 at Walkers Pass and started up the next large hill. It was some good gain and we got after it! Trekking on and slowly ascending the moutains in the distance and the desert to the east came into view. We soon realized that this marked the start of the foothills to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and we were almost at their doorstep!

The trail swisted and winded throught the pine covered mountains and soon skirted east allowing the expansive desert to the east to be put on display. It was might beautiful! Trekking on the trail pushed us to the backside of the moutnain, back down into the high desert. We all started leap frogging and hiking at differet paces. Back and forth we went until finding a nice spring to grab water and take in some lunch.

It had been a really nice day and the little oasis in the canopied canyon was gorgeous. Other hikers came and went, grabbing water, and the 3 of us took in a nice long break! There was only 1 climb betweeen us and camp. Six miles, 2000 feet of gain and nothing but mountain top views (we hoped)! We finished up, packed up, and headed on. Sissyphus, Ladybug, and I stuck together on the climb like a well oiled machine. Took a nice solid pace and didnt let up until the mountain did! As we gained the trsail the wind became more ands more hostile.

We kept pushing on and the wind just kept getting harder! The half bent over pines told the story that this was the norm here in this little cooridoor and it was up to us to endure as the pine did. We pressed on step after step, mile after miles, until finally we came to a windswept campsite. We ducked down on the east side of the ridge and there was practically no wind! We chose our camp and set up. The trees above still screamed from the wipping wind as if it were angry we temporarly escaped its grip! I was glad to have a nice chill spot, and soon all of us were fed, and receeding to our tents from the wind. A great day indeed!


Day 47: Mile 634-651 Lake Isabella



You ever know when an angel will come and save your life!

I woke to a gorgeous sunrise! Our camp the night before was atop Skinner Peak, and when we rose we had a magnificent view as reward for climbing the mountains the night before. What a great way to start the day! I chatted with the trio who camped nearby as I started to pack up. They were a couple hiking the trail with their daughter. This was a first for me to find on the trail, I had not encountered another full on family.

After finishing up my packing I stood ready to take on the day with coffee in hand. I said fairwell to the family and walked to where Cowboy (Mike), Sissyphus (Hidde), and Ladybig (Paul) were camped. They were still packing up so I decided to press on. The golden light was still magnificent as I trekked on. The light streamed through the trees and lit the beaten trail as it winded across the mountain.

As the trail decended the forest I took in all the trees, chirping birds, and scarce squirrels I could see. The day was perfect temps and it was just a lovely trail winding through the mouanins. I soon found a nice spot break and the fellas caught up and passed me up. After I was done I pressed on and the trasil finally escped the mountainside and spit us onto an old dirt road that crossed an open high desert. The trail bumped up and down, until finally finding its way over a saddle and we started the last decent to walked pass.

Long and stretched out switchbacks skirted us on the moutnainside and we once again decended to the desert. The sun began to warm us as it did. I sipped on the last bit of water out of 1 bottle, knowing I’d have just 0.5 liters in another left to hold me over. We needed to get to the trailhead. Trekking on, trying to keep up woth Ladybugs long legs as we chatted, we decended the trail. Finally we popped out to find Garlic, a trail Angel, under a pavilion making up some guac! Man what a treat, trail magic is the best!

Couple of cold beers, guac, chips, and resfreshing water brought us all back to life. We needed to get to Lake Isabella and hitching was the first mode on all our minds. We walked towards the road we saw a lady dropping off a hiker (Happy) and we flagged her down. She said to jump on in and we threw our packs in her hatch. Her name was Lisa and was in town visiting her father on a break from teaching and going to school (for her teaching degree).

She was great! She drove us the 1 miles to Onyx so Sissyphus could pick up a package at the post office, then waited on us and drove us all the way into town. We stopped at a place called the Shadys Bar and got food and a beer to recharge our sprits. There was a pool table nearby and we all had a go at playing. Afterwards Lisa offered to give us a ride 0.5 miles down the road to the Vons (grocery store) we were so glad. Upon arrival, she said she enjoyed hanging out with us and didnt have much to do that day so she was going to give us a ride back to the trailhead after we finished shopping. What a true angel all the way! We quickly shopped and chatted in the car on the ride back. Once there we cooked up smores for all the hikers camping nearby before finally crashing out. Lisa made our days, its always nice to find kindess in places you never expect it!

Trail Angel:

Lisa – 32, An elementary school teacher, living in Berkeley. Her father lives in Lake Isabella, a truck driver, whom she learned her sharp whit and can-do attitude from. She aspires to hike the PCT herself once her school is completed.


PCT Day 46: Mile 608.5-634



Hunger of the pines . . . ALT J

I woke and after the mourning routine was ready for the trail. Sissyphus, Paul, and Mike were all packing up and getting ready as well as the usual banter started on. Mike piped up, pointing to the outhouse, “Someone left a huge mess in the basement of that playhouse!” We all roared in a laugh and finished up our packing before heading out.

I pushed on first, hiking out of the awesome camp into the pine forest. Over the next few miles the forest spit us out back into the desert below as we decended the trail. We trekked on and soon found a water cashe at 7 miles. Thankt the lord for trail angels in this dry section of trail! Without some of the strategically placed caches I could see this being a very hard stretch.

The gang all rejoined at the cache, then we pushed out together across the vast desert landscape. We could see it changing, the mountains were half desert, half grante, givinmg prelude to the Sierras to come. We took in the sights before another nice break 6 miles later.

The push t the next cache was a warm one and I pressed on first. The trail had become sany and I watched the lizards scamper at the sight of my approach. Twisting and turning I pressed on up through the moutains and finally over a last long hill to the next cache. It was like we had hiked into a new bubble of hikers, most of the people here I had never seen or met, We said hi and cameled up.

There was 3miles between us and camp and they, of course, were all up hill. I took it on in ernest and before I knew it, sweating, panting, heart racing, I gained the 1700 feet to the top where camp awaited. The fellas trickled in and soon diner was made and we were als linking off to our tents. What a great day!

Hiker Profile:

1liner – 32, from Ohio Originally, he went to school in Wisconsin for Physics and Math. Them after having trouble finding a job after the 2008 crash he went to a tech school and learned to be a machinist. He settles in Seattle and worked there for quite a few years. He wants to have his own machine shop and has started purchasing tools. He attempted the PCT in 2007, but after contracting a neuroviris and puking and deficating for 3 days straight every 3 hours, he decided to leave the trail and come back this year to try again.

Paul – 23, From Davis, he studies Political Science at UCSantaBarbara. He really went there to run and standing at 6’3, 160 at the time, he was quick. Unfortunatly a sting of injury stunted his career. His girlfriend is in San Francisco working with foster kids. She is scheduled to come in 1 month to hike with him. After the trail they will figure the rest out together.


PCT Day 45: Mile 583-608.5 Landers Meadow Campground



Scrub-a-dub dub, 3 men in a tub . . .

The alarm becconed and I unwantingly answered. After the usual morning routine I immerged from my secluded campsite made for 1 and headed down to the spring below where Sissyphus and Paul were packing up. We chatted for a bit, but with coffee in hand I was ready to get going.

The morning was pretty chill. The trail meandered up and down, on the side of ridges covered in windmills until finally resing on a saddle. I stopped after craning out 7 and had a nice morning chicken and pepperoni burrito and looking at the views. Of all the things that ran in and out of my head (as lots of things do when all you have is time to think or observe the trail around you) I began woundering about what life would be like after the trail. Just then Sissyphus and Paul came rounding the corner, easily bounding with their long strides. We chatted for a few and they pressed on leaving me to the views.

I packed up and pressed on twisting and turning through the open landscape, spotted with canopied scrub oaks. I was enjoying the stroll when suddenly I heard a rattle! I instantly knew what it was and scanned the yellow field to find a curiously colored rattler sounding off. He was yellowish green, a Mojave Green. He carried a serious reputation and after looking at him, I carried on.

By the time I got to the spring there was a group of hikers just handing out. Sissyphus amd Paul, including Mike were among them and I took one of the longest rests of my time on the trail.

Sissyphus and I walked the remaining 7 miles together from camp. We were talking about US history, as well as Holland war history. It was always intertestung to me to get someone elses viewpoint, especially when they arent from the US (his from Holland). We chatted on and the miles melted below the beautiful pines.

We finally made camp and filtered from an awesome spring tub nearby. There we met Burn who was from Iowa, claimed Austin TX, but now lives in orange county. She was a nice girl with pink and green hair. We all filtered water in prep for the push thew next day (42 dry miles!). Both Paul and Sissyphus took a dip. I just went for the hair and a few pairs of socks that needed some TLC. It was food, stretches, and fire before finally subdues by the becconing of the tent that we all crashed out.

Hiker Profile:

Spirit kick (Ethan) – From Phoenix, lives in Anthem. He came out to hike the trail while his two sisters stayed back and help take care of his house and send him packages. He had shin splints for some time and actually came off trail for a week to rest up before resuming and pressing on. Not a fan of people rambling on about all the snow in the Sierras, hes just ready to get there and see whats its like for himself!

(Picture opportunity missed)


PCT Day 43+44: Mile 558.5-583 Trench Foot + Gold Oaks Spring


5.26.18 + 5.27.18

Day 43:

Trench foot. I lost a sock just 2 days before, so the third day of wearing the same dirty socks was getting to my feet. Coming into Tehachapi we hiked 30 miles and my foot was fed up. It felt like irritated skin on the underside of my right toes. After inspection, I concluded that something had to be done. Two pair of socks for Big 5 and some Tanactin cream later and I was on my way to being right as rain!

We took a zero to get a good full rest. We camped in the back of the Red House BBQ place and tooled around the western town. There was a Memorial Day celebration, and all kinds of cowboys and cowgirls decended ln the town for music, 2step, and good food. After resupplying and enjoying the best food in town, we crashed out ready for the next day!

Day 44:

Louis, Mike, Baxter, Sisyphus, Paul, and myself woke early in the back yard of the Red House BBQ. Conviniently next door there was a diner that opened at 5:30am and after some of us packed our bags we headed over. It was a nice sendoff before getting back on trail. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, good hot coffee, anything your heart desired!

We debated back and forth after no Trail Angels, No Uber Drivers, or Lyft drivers answered our need for a ride. The guys were still sorting it out when I decided just to start walking and put my thumb out. Just a quarter mile later Jeff (trail angel) and 3 other hikers stopped and picked me up in a big diesel truck. I was on my way to the trailhead!

I was excited to start again, the temps were great and the wind was blowing. Nothing like the nightmare heat it could be. I trekked on, through the rolling hills between the wind turbines, just enjoying the vast views. I took a break after reaching a road walk and stopped for a snack.

Soon Paul and Sissyphus came rolling up with big smiles on “Hey man!” we both exclaimed! The three of us trekked on together as the other fellas decided to skip the “boring” mile section. By then the heat started coming on and we echanged stories about back home as we walked along the interstate. After a mile or so, the trail turned towards the moutnain on single track and it was time to get after it. Up and up we went. About half way the boys took a break from the heat and I kept kicking for the top. After about 3 miles of nice uphill grade and a cool advantaging wind I found the top. The wind seemed to gather the perfume from all the purple lupin in an entire field and brought the scent to our noses. It was a nice change to the usual hiker funk! Soon after I stopped, the fellas joined me in a nice break!

We rolled through the rest of the terrain on our own. Up dirt roads, twisting through songle track. At one point I met a cool couple on their honeymoon. It sure was nice to meet all the interesting people out here!

The miles melted away and finally I was on the last descent of the day as the golden hour took over. Views were incredible and expansive, and I just took them in as I rolled the remaining trail to camp. There I found a whole load of hikers along whith Paul and Sissyphus. We greated, filtered water, cooked, stretched, and were in our beds in under an hour. Hikers live by the sun, in bed at sundown, up and moving at sunup. What a great day!

Hiker Profile:

Queso and Husk: A couple of thru hikers just slackpacking on a nice section of trail. I met them, sitting on the bench, in no hurry to go anywhere, taking in the views and enjoying the weather while it lasts. Its hard not to smile out here!

Popeye and Trex: On their Honeymoon after a recent marriage. They were both from Oklahoma to begin with. Trex moved to LA where she lived for 29 years. They met and held a long distance relationship for 6 years. Once Popeye retured and the kids moved out, Trex moved back home and they were now married. Taking on the PCT with big smiles and hopes for the future!