PCT Day 108: Mile 1691.5-1718.5 Ashland



I woke later after the late night, and started packing up. After ready to go with coffee in hand I headed back towards the Oregon/California boarder to take a last look. As I did, Penguin, Flipper, Snacks, Tiny Slice, TrashQueen, and Froggy came rolling up to celebrate with me! (it just so happened to be Froggy’s bday!)

We got in a line like the 7 dwarves and rocked out. We cranked out the next few miles in unison like we were a platoon squaderent. We came to a spring and had a nice break where the jokes and bs of the day continued.

After the spring we started at our seperate times and speeds. I liked together, but it was also nice just cranking at my own speed, taking in the flowers when they came and the nice forest views. Smoke still lingered, but I tried to enjoy it the best I could.

After some miles I had a nice break on after pushing up a long large hill. I figured I had just 10 miles left to town and I though about juicy hambergers and beer. I cranked on, downhill and really started making up time. Through the valleys and twisting valleys I decended.

IG: photogjman, meanderin_mellenial, adventures_with_barty, lojofosho, brettkcallaghan, smiller1120

Finally I popped out onto a frontage road that lead to the I-5. I walked out, got my bearings, and soon threw out my thumb for a ride. Not 5 minutes later a lovely couple pulled over in a champagne blazer and hooked me up with a ride.

Before long I arrived at a Hotel where Happy and Chillibin were hangin out! I havent seen either of them together since Kenedy Meadows North. It was great to be back together and we chatted on over pizza and beer. Before long, exhuastion took over and I found some good sleep on the floore. Another great day!


PCT Day 107: Mile 1657.5-1691.5 Oregon



I woke up next to the spring and got moving. As I packed my things away hikers started to pass my trailside accomidations. Most people wanted and early start to tackle the 4500 foot climb out of Seiad Valley before it got too hot. I figured id just keep my same old schedule and let the day roll out as it must.

Pack on and coffee in hand I headed up the hill. Flipper, Penguine, Snacks, Froggy, Tiny Slice, Conflicted, and a few others passed me in the morning. I was usually slow for the first 7 miles and taking on such a hill didnt inspire me to burn my legs out before the day even started. As I climbed I noticed the smoke was really bad. Not to mention that the sun came out in a red ball of flame to help kick up the humid heat.

I pulled my Buff over my face for a makeshift smoke mask and climbed on step after step slowly brought me higher, and hopefully to cooler temps than that of the valley below. Some of the trees were charred from a past fire, and half seemed dead. The dirt turned a deep red and it reminded me of southern Utah and all its beautiful sandstone.

Soon I came to the first spring of the day. It was cool and crisp, flowing at a good 1.5 liters per minute. Confliced was sitting at the branch where the spring rail went down and he was going on and on about how interesting the whole State of Jefferson was. There was a lot of signage in Seiad Valley supporting the movement. At any rate, the group of us chatted about Oregon, and our hopes of seeing it soon. California is a long state. Its 1691.5 miles of PCT long state.

I waved goodbye and headed out. Although the burn want the pretties thing, I could appreciate the beauty in it. In some places where the red dirt really stood out, the charred black trees helped to accent it. I winded through the hills, it seemed like I was always going up. Another spring came upon me, and I grabbed my fill. I was chugging a lot in the warmth of the smoke hidden sun.

The afternoon was upon me and I was humming along, picking up speed as the afternoon cooled. I turned corner and thought I heard music. I paused and realized it was the bells of a group of cows! My arch enemy! I crept closer, hoping they woud scare off, and too my amazement, they bolted at the sight of me! I turned the next corner and the group that had passed me in the morning was all set up for camp.

We chatted for a bit, and I announced I was going for the boarder. It was already 8pm, just an hour or so left of light and I still had 4 miles to go! My work was cut out for me! I cranked on, the grade wasnt too bad. The smoke persisted and blocked any chance for vistas. I cranked on,as the light fadded going quickly throught the woods. Finally I broke out my headlamp to finish the job. Twisting and winding, I started to get tired and then . . . finally, after 110 days, 1691.5 miles and a whole lot of hard work, I touched the boarder! It was a beautiful thing!

I hiked a bit more and found a spot to set up for the night. Tired, I put my tent up, made dinner, and cracked a celebratory beer! Man, just under 1000 miles left. Its funny to think back to Campo CA and where I started, the day I started. It seemed like such a long time ago. Well either way, it’s far from over!


PCT Day 106: Mile 1625.5-1657.5 Seiad Valley



You dont always know who you’re sleeping next to . . . or sometimes you do, and just don’t know it!

I had got into camp late the night before. All 3 people there were already asleep so I set up and went through my nightly routine as quickly and qietly as possible. In the morning I woke early as usual and started to pack up. With my bag on my back I noticed that 2 of the 3 were still in bed and probably woulnt have known I was ever there. The third was getting ready just a bush away. As he rounded the corner I noticed it was Bearcan!

“Hey man!” I exclaimed in a wisper. We were both delighted to see each other, and I didnt think I would ever catch up to him. In our excitement I looked over and noticed the person cowboy camping sat up, it was JellyBones! The guy in the tent was Trout! It was so crazy to think I camped next to all 3 people I knew and also was trying to catch up to. We chatted on shortly and Bearcan and I hiked out.

The mornings miles went quickly. The air was cool, the pines were pretty, and we chatted on as the trail seemed to take us as a roller coaster through the landscape. We stopped for a quick break and water before pressing on. Bearcan was in a hurry and wanted to get north quickly so he headed off. I said I’d catch him Seiad Valley.

The trail dive bombed from the nice temps at 5000 feet down to the bomby, humid climate od Seid Valley at 1300 feet. There was smoke in the air as well. It seemed to just get thicker as I decended. The canyon I was decending was lush and green, tons of ferns, plantlife of all kinds, and of course blackberries! I found a few bushes and paused for a while stuffing the tasty sweet morsels into my mouth.

After exiting the bottom of the trail I saw Penguin and her group (Flipper, Froggy, Tiny Slice, Snacks, and TrashQueen) just getting dressed after a swim. I wished I had time to dive in, but I wanted to get to the store before they closed at 7 and there was still a 5 mile roadwalk ahead of me. We chatted for a bit and I pressed on.

Soon Froggy caught up with me and we chatted on, walking the last miles quickly into town. The store was a little beat up and there were The Great State of Jefferson signs all about the place. It was interesting, but they had food that I needed and a place to charge my battery bank. Bearcan and the rest of Penguins group all assembed outside, chatting on and getting new food stores for the days ahead. We were all buzzing about Oregon being in reach.

The group pushed out, and hoping my battery would charge more I stayed until 9 before hiking out. I hiked in the dark 2 miles up the large climb. The first camp I came to had 2 tents and not much space. The hikers were already alseep, so I decided to hike on. Just a quarter mile later I found a spring and a flat spot where I could put my tent. Bingo! Within minutes I was set up and crawling into my tent. What a good day!

Hiker Profile:

Froggy – 26, from Columbus Ohio, and most recently Denver CO. A fun loving, and very particular fella, he enjoyed history podcasts and generally just learning about theworld around him. After a breakup with a long time girlfriend, he decided to hit the trail and sort things out. A quick hiker, he speeds on the downhills and whistles as he does it.

Podcast reccomend dation: The stuff you missed in history


PCT Day 105: Mile 1594-1625.5 Marble Mountain



Sometimes naps are necessary.

I didn’t sleep very well at all. Tossing and turning every 30 minutes it seemed. None the less, I woke and was off at a usual early start. I hiked on without my coffee this morning, as I was none about. There were no eggs and bacon either, so I couldn’t be comlpaining that much. I hiked up the hill from camp and soon noticed there were 3 hikers behind me.

This annoyed me. I dont like people I dont know hiking behind me, so I picked up my step and pressed on. At the time I only had 1.5 liters of water and it was a 14 miles stretch to the next source if I didnt pick up any at the next creek. Being so stubbord and annoyed by the hikers I forgot all about topping off and hiked right past the creek. I realized it by the time I got to the road.

A paved highway lead to Etna, which I had opted to skip over by grabbing a few extra days food from Mt. Shasta. It was a good thing too as the road looked like a ghost town, save a lonely hiker waiting for a car to come speeding by. I bid him good luck and pressed on, trying not to think about water.

The climb came shortly after and I tried to sip sparringly at the life fluid in my bottles. The trail was chunky granit and on a down after the climb it finally let up to a soft red dirt. It kept switching back and forth like the trail couldn’t make up its mind. I was tired from the sleepless night before and it was starting to show on me.

I mouth was dry and I was down to 0.5 liters. There was a spring just up trail, however it was 0.5 miles rount trip off trail with some gain involved. I wanted bady to skip it, but the next water was 3 miles after and I had already been rationing my water until this point. My mouth pleeded for a sip, and I allowed a small one, just enough to fight off the drymouth. Suddenly just a mile before the spring turnoff I found a very small trickling seep coing out of the wall. Most anyone would have passed it up thinking it wasnt worth the time, but I grabbed a leaf nearby and went to work. Soon after 3 minutes or so I had a full liter of water and rejoyced!

I pressed on and soon bumped into a tail crew hiking along with old school gear, obviously headed to a new camp setting up their next work spot. I passed and thanked them for their work. After a mile or so more I came to a creek, had a snack, and a much needed nap. I was starting to stumble around from exhaustion and my pace was sluggish and slow. I needed a reset button.

I woke refreshed, threw my pack on and headed up trail. Soon I bumped into Cougar and we chatted a while. The usual, fires, why we are here, where we are from, what we did before this. We chatted on until coming to the next spring where we collected water. She decided to break and I pressed on and up the next big climb. Up and down and up again.

Finally I dipped into a valley riddled with marble rock which was also lush and green. I soon found the creek that was feeding all this growth and filled my bottles. Swan came around the corner and we chatted on as we filered, watching a nearby deer munch on grass. I said my goodbyes and pushed the last 2 miles to camp. Whew, finally made it. Shoes off, tent up, food done, and lights out. A good day indeed!

Hiker Profile:

Cougar – 42, from Seattle. She graduated Mechanical Engineering, but worked for the Navy on Nuclear Power plants. She loves quilting and discovered this when she worked at a fabric shop in her teens. Always facinated by the trail, she finally said she needed a break from work and made the time to make it mappen. She usually hikes with her partner Hurricane, however he is currently a long way off trying his hand at he Ledville 100 race. If she can get to cascades locks in time, she plans to fly out and cheer him on. A very nice lady indeed!


PCT Day 104: Mile 1561-1594 Paynes Lake



The Silence of the cows . . .

I woke as usual and went through the morning routine. It was like breathing at this point. I could pack up everything, have breakfast and coffee in hand, trail ready in just 30 minutes now.

I hiked on and up the hill I started the nigth before. As I got close to the ridgetop, I heard a bellowing from below sounded like a cattle in distress. I listened and woundered, then started walking. Again it sounded, loud and echoing across the valley to my right. I have a wierd thing about cows. I dont like them much. That, and they kill 10x more people than sharks do per year. Im just waiting for “cow week” to start. I pressed on hoping I wouldn’t run into them.

For the next few miles, little springs and creeks popped up regularly. It was nice to see the plants clinging to the cool water. I filled my bottle and kept on trekking.

Soon, as I came into a red rock mountounous area, I noticed a trail crew working away. I said hello as I passed and thanksed each of them for their hard work. They in turn thanked me for walking the trail, which I thought was the lesser of the 2 deeds. But I guess one needs the other.

Smoke filled the valleys in the far view and I began to wounder about the wild fires in Oregon and potentially Washington. As I dropped into a valley, all my worry was wiped away with the strong smell of cows. I walked in hesitation with my head on a swivel. I could see their tracks going this way and that. I was hoping they wouldnt be gathered at the next watering hole that I was countng on to fill up. The smell dissipated bit and as I drew nearer, to my relief, no cows. I filled my bottles and plopped for a quick snack. A small mouse was running around a tree nearby, scoping me out, then as soon as seeing I was alert, went running around the other side.

I trekked on and soon ran into Brunchrunner who was my first run-in with a hiker on the day. We chatted on and on about where we were from and the wildfires ahead. Soon we came to a creek and I stopped for water as he let out.

The trail started to climb, and it was a good one. It seemed to go tirelessly up with no sign of relaxing. The only relief was a light wind blowing. I pushed myself and enjoyed the breaks as they came in dips in the trail. I could soon see far ahead into the hazy distance. The smoke made the ridgelines into silouettes, and it looked pretty cool.

I stopped for a final break and soon after made the final push. The trail went up and down skirting a ridge, and for the last 2 miles seemed to go straight up before finally letting go at a nice saddle. The views were great and I rolled through the next few miles of burn area with ease. I came to the runoff of Paynese Lake and decided I had gone on long enough for 1 day. I set up my tent, ate dinner, stretched, and crawled my tired feet inside for a much needed slumber. It was a good day!

Hiker Profile:

BrunchRunner, Mid 20 from Oakland CA. He says Oakland isn’t all that bad of a place to live, and actually really enjoys it. He was a Software Engineer, and worked in San Diego for some time. While there he would go to mountain towns where he would hike and backpack around. During these weekend excursions he would regularly meet PCT hikers on the trail. The seed was planted and now hes here to see his dream come to reality. Hes thinking of moving to Portland after the trail and still longs to see a Bear.


PCT Day 103: Mile 1531-1561



Be alone in the woods sometimes, it’s good for you.

I woke and went through the usual routine. I filtered water from Porcupine Lake an was surprised to find how warm it was. I packed up before the rest of the crew had even stirred, and I let out on the trail.

I would see glimpses of the morning sun, but being blocked by a ridge left me curious how it looked on the face of Mt. Shasta. As I followed the winding trail I saw quite a bit of smoke in the air. I assumed it was from the fire to the south. I even smelled the burning wood, which meant it could be close. I pressed on listening to the song birds before coming to a short rest at DeadFall Creek Spring. I filled my bottles with the cool clear liquid and scanned the surrounding ridges while eating a second breakfast. The Hobbits had it right, I though to myself.

I packed up and headed on bumping into a few day hikers as I went. A guy and his grandkids, a man by himself, and a man with two kids who were telling me to be ware of zombies. I laughed and said I would as I trekked on. It wasn’t long that I came upon the trailhead they emmerged from.

I trekked on and winded through the woods as I watched birds fly and chipmunks scatter at the sight of me on the trail. I came to yet another spring and had a small break while kicking my shoes off. A pair of blond bearded brothers, wearing almost the same thing hiked by. I said hello, but neither looked in the mood for small talk, or big talk, or any talk for that matter.

I pressed on and enjoyed the long stretch with open views. I crossed paths with a green mojave rattlesnake, who looked like he had business of his own. And a baby bird who looked as though he was too young to fly and the nearby parents were either scolding him, or me for being too close.

It wasnt until the last few miles of the day that I bumped into Anarchy from Aulstralia. We chatted on as we both hiked down towards Hwy 3. He went on about his crew he was hiking with and why he was here. He seemed to really enjoy the atmosphere on trail. As we got to the road he headed off in his own direction for camp, and I kept hiking on.

After a mile or 2 I found a nice spout trailside, just a few miles from the next spring where I steaked my claim for the night. I hadnt seen much of anyone all day long, but I wasnt complaining, sometimes its nice to have the woods all to yourself!

Hiker Profile:

Anarchy – 20s from Aulstralia. He came to the states to hike the PCT for the social experience. Trail Angels, Trail Magic, Towns easily accessible, other hikers the same age, and a while sub-culture of people just out for a long walk across the Untied States. It called to him, and he answered. After his trail friends dfound out he carried a womans deoderant that was called Anarchy for Her, he got his trailname!


PCT Day 102: Mile 1504.6-1531 Porcupine Lake



I woke early and got myself moving. Tank, Dingo, and Dingos partner had already left the camp and I wasn’t far behind. As I climbed I soon found the manzanita seemed to dominate the landscape. It lined the trail and kept it company when hikers were away.

I started what others referred to as a dreaded climb. It was humid out, warm, and the air was thick with smoke from a nerby fire. No great views with the smoke, but the jetting Crags of Castle Crag could be seen through the haze as jagged teeth of the menacing mountain. It did look pretty cool and I snapped a few pictures.

The climb was long and hardy and my legs wayned under my backpack laden with 5 days of food. It was a price that sometimes you had to day! I trudged on and soon found a break in the grade and shade in some trees. I plopped for a break and soon Mouse and her friend joined me for a quick snack.

It was time to move and I pressed on and up the hill, it seemed like a forever gain until finally I came to a spring and stopped for water after the 10 mile dry stretch. The weight of the food and water made me much slower than usual. But the good news was I had fresh fruit in my bag and the thought of a nice apple or orange made me forget the weight, at least for a time.

I pressed on, and up again. I soon come to a came where at least 10 hikers had all taken a lunch break and afternoon nap. Not in the mood and needing to get some miles in, I pressed on. TreeBeard followed me out and we chatted on as we walked the ridge. He was an interesting fella, and really was glad to be out in Cali enjoying the mountains.

I slogged the next miles slowly and I felt like a slug, it was still a beautiful day. However, I had started to heard thunder in the distance, and I watched and the hug pluming clouds gathering. There was 1 more short beak at Picayune Spring before I pressed on for camp. The hope was Porcupine Lake, but the thunder continued to draw nearer.

Closer it came as I hurried on. I saw a large number of hikers setting up not too far after the spring, but I wanted to get a bit further. The light sprayed through the clouds in some areas and I could see rain falling in others across the valley. Then I felt it, the first drop of water had hit my shoulder. I hurried on faster and finally got to the lake turnoff as the rin started coming down harder. To my surprise Tank, Dingo, and her partner were there all set up, tucked away in their tents.

I set up quickly and by the time I dove in the tent the drops seemed to gain in size and fall more rapidly. It was only a short spell, but after making dinner and stretching in my tent the rain seemed to drop off. I wasn’t in the mood for a wet night, but the air up here was much cooler than down in the valley. I thought back to all the great views of the day and my favorite were of the building storms. Another good one for the books!

Hiker Profile:

TreeBeard – early 30s, from Laguna beach. Hes held quite a few odd jobs, including running a WOLFing farm in Hawaii, being a fire catcher at festivals, and a surf instructor. Super nice and friendly, we chatted on about his different jobs. His main stay is helping out his disabled dad which he has been doing for some time now. He was solid enough to be left for a few months at a time so he came out to hike! Free spirited and a hell of a good guy!


PCT Day 101: Mile 1498.5-1504.5 Mt. Shasta



The mountains are calling

I woke up warm, just 3 miles from the road that lead to Mt. Shasta city, and I was undecided on my plan. After hiking down the hill and finding my way to the road, a lovey lady and her dog came to a hault by my side. She rolled her window down manually and asked if I needed a ride. “Heck yea!”, was my only responce.

Martha and Mo had made my choice for me between Mt. Shata and Etna for places to resupply. I was very grateful and we chatted on during the ride into town.

I thanked her as she dropped me off at a bakery which had some awesome coffee and great food! Afterwards et up will JellyBones, Trout, Ketchup, and SugarMan at their hotel where we all caught up and I returned Jelly Bones knife, which somehow ended up in my posession.

The next few hours were full of going around town and trying to see if I could find a ride to the base of Mt Shasta, the actual mountain. After hours of trying, I relized I’d have to hitch all the way to the next town, then somehow hitch up a dirt road. I decided getting back on trail and finnishing was more important.

After resupplying I went back to the Climbing gym where hikers were camping out, and met up with Tank who I hadn’t seen since Tuolumne Meadows. We chatted on about our common friend Noodles who decided to leave the trail. Its sad, but it happens. Afterwards we both caught the 6pm shuttle back to the trail.

Soon my feet were back on dirt again and I pressed on. Up and up it seemed (maybe I was just tired) until I finally found the camp just beyond the wilderness boarder. I set up, made dinner, and was soon fast alseep!


PCT Day 100: Mile 1467-1498.5 Squaw Valley Creek



I woke to the alarm and started moving. After packing up and seeing Tank had gone, I pushed on. As soon as I did I looked over to see a deer had walked right into camp and was munching on some small plants nerby. With felt still on his horns he looked to me without a care in the world and just went on about his day. I hiked on.

The trail sweepd through the landscape with the ease of a skiier down rolling hills. It was beautiful and canopied in. It was a world of canyons and hillsides hidden away from the light and I drank it in. Moss covered treed, and rocks were everywhere. Large rock outcroppings would sometime jett out from the trees and landscape as if forced. I crossed the bridge over the McCloud River and really enjoyed its influence on the terrain it touched.

I soon came upon Disnay and we chatted a while as we both decended. We went on about why she was here, and what we both did before the PCT. We soon came to a creek and stopped for water fillup and a quick snack.

The creek gathered in pools before dropping a short 10′ over the edge to a large awaiting pool before. I filtered water as we chatted on and stuffed some Cheetoes in my mouth. After the break was done I said my goodbyes and headed out just as JustMatt arrived. “Hey man!” He exclaimed and we chatted breifly about where we camped the night before and what our plans for on the day.

I trekked on alone and twisted and winded before finding the next water source: Squaw Valley Creek. I went down to the waters edge to fill my bottle with cold water when I found myself peering down into a 6′ pool of crystal clear water. I couldnt resist, in a flash my clothes were off and I let out a loud woop as I jumped into the rejuvinating water. How invigorating and I urged a few other hikers to come as they passed the brudge below. Zero, Shlowmo, and Disney joined in just as I had my fill and started getting ready for the next stretch.

I waved on and the trail turned upwards. Pushing long and up I followed passing only Thomas who I met a few days back, who was sitting trailside waiting out the heat. I pushed to the top of the climb and plopped down for a late lunch. Soon JustMatt caught up and we hiked the next few miles together chatting on just as a beautiful view of Mt Shasta covered in clouds slapped us in the face. We staired in woulder.

Soon JustMatt was off to get to the hightway before dark and I decended the filan miles to camp. I paused for a moment, only for waterbefore bumping into Shlowmo and Zero again. We chatted on as the final bit of golden hour was upon us and we all looked at the forest in appreciation. I found my stop, set up and , ate dinner, and clambered inside my tent hiding from Mosquitoes. I instantly noticed how warm it was once I stopped moving and knew it wcould be a hard nights sleep. All the same id take as much rest as I could!

Hiker Profile:

Disney – Early 20s from Seattle. She started her journey from Kennedy Meadows south and hiked through the Sierras until Kearsarge Pass where she exited from effects of exhaustion from altitude sickness. She got back on in Mammoth and has been trekking ever since until her family picker her up at the OR/WA boader where she plans to go with her family to Disneyland for a vacation. She works in the Software tech industry and is thinking of going back to school for Law. Perhaps shell become a DA one day, changing the law for the better hopefully.

Podcast Suggestion: Hardcore History


PCT Day 99: Mile 1436.5-1467 Butcher Knife Creek


I woke early to the alarm doing its thing. I was groggy and never even heard the first one. I turned it off and sorted out that I was half way up Red Mountain where I had hiked the night before in hopes to get cell signal, but to no avaeil. I did the morning routine and was soon on my feet padding down the trail.

I was like a slug this morning. Not in any hurry, and just taking my sweet time winding through the mountains. Pretty flowers lines the trail and soon I found brigth red berries! They looked great but I dare not eat them. I was hoping for more recognizable berries in Washington to be ride and ready by time I got there!

I rounded a corner and views of Mt Shasta slapped me in the face! I expected it to be pure snowcapped, but it seemed like this season it shown some of the rock veins running all the way to its peak. I plopped for an early break and gazed on.

Once again I was up and trodding down the trail. I kept leep frogging with a tro group. Id pass them for some miles, then I would stop for a break and they would pass me right back. After the 3rd or 4th time it just became comical. I soon stopped for water and found a gang of hikers piling up. The Trio, Fuji and Jupiter, and Just Matt. I had met Just Matt the day before, but as we filtered water it was our first time to actually chat. We went n at length about work ideals and what we were doing here. He seemed to be in the same “I quite my job for the PCT” crowd as me. It felt nice to find the few kinsmen out here with me.

I pressed on and was lost in the twisting trail for the next few miles. I would pop out to a beautiful vista of peaks in the distance all covered in pines, then the next minute be walking through vined lines paths twisting through the forest.

After a final water stop, I filled up and decided I would press the remaining 9 miles to my camp and water. My feet had started to hurt, and several times in the day I forced myself to stop and tke my shoes off. I had 2 hot spots (starting of what could become a blister) on the pads of my feet. It was strange that this would happen now so far into the hike. The light began to become golden and hide in the north/south canyons.

I turned a corner and a brown deer on the trail bolted diwn just a few feet below looking at my inquisitively, not scared enough to full run. I walked on and pressed the final miles to camp at Butcher Knife Creek. Soon as I walked in I saw Tank and Opa, 2 friends I last saw in Tuolumne while waiting on 2 packages that never came. We chatted on and caught up as the light faded. I soon saif my goodnights and grabbed water and went through the nightly routine. My tent was just near the creek and I could hear the water rushing on. It really wasnt a bad spot, and definitly a good way to end a day!

Hiker Profile:

Just matt – Early 30s, from Berkley CA. He worked as a Copy writer for a marketing agency. He would help choose the words in an add, website, magazine, you name it. His girlfriend of 4 years is back home holding down the fort. His father died some years back just before retiring and he watched his unrealized dreams for retirement never given the chance to happen. He decided this wasnt goign to happen to him and you only have one file to live. He cashed in his 401k and helps pay for rent on his apartment and his trip on the PCT. Sometimes it just calls you. Tall and lanky he zooms up the trail and has dabbled in running, it seems to suite him and help his trail game!


PCT Day 98: Mile 1411.5-1436.5 Burney Falls



Trees get hungry too!

I woke early as usual and got moving. The barking dogs of the night didnt keep me awake, but when I did get up my sleeping bag was wet. I wasnt sure if it was sweat or humidity, but its wasnt a great feeling. Coffe in one hand and a PopTart in the other I hiked the trail through the spider web of forest roads in the area.

The night before I began to feel a little heal pain right foot and it persisted today. Since pushing from Tahoe and the change of terrain, all these new little aches and pains have crept up on me. I try my best to just hike through telling myself its just adjusting to the new rythm. I be beopped through the twisting trail and I could soon hear the 18 wheelers roar on hwy 89. I was getting closer to the State Park, and the Falls.

Soon after crossing the road I entered State land and kept on trekking until I found the turnoff to the Falls. To my surprise Fugi and Jupiter were still there about to head on after checking out the natural wounder. I had a resupply box at the General Store and had to walk in. I said goodbye and headed towards the store.

Soon I saw BearCan who had already been there for an hour and told me the store was closed until their power was restored. Gah! He was on his way out and I waved on as I walked the last steps the store. I looked left and I saw n other than Ladybug himself! He was sitting with his girflriend Camiel and friend Connor. We chatted on and caught up since we hadnt seen each other since Tuolumne.

I grabbed my box from the store after sweettalking the lady glairing at me from behind the CLOSED sign. Afterwards I chilled with Ladybug and crew. Noon rolled around and I realized I had been there for 3 hours, and with a full resupply it was time to get up trail! I said my goodbyes and headed out.

Soon after winding through the woods I crossed a huge dam that was fed by Lake Britton, just north of the falls. I took in the views and pressed on. Soon I found a ridge and my next water source. There was a group of hikers hunkered down underneith, hiding from the hot sun. I grabbed water and pushed on, not wanting to waste any more time.

Soon I met Sweep, who had a harroling tale about his pack getting stolen at the Old Station Fill Up. I felt bad for the guy, and it was such a bizzar occurance, you almost dont know what to say to it. WE pressed on and chatted on for a bit about the trail and what we did in the default world. Soon we found the next water source and Thomas rolled in with a few other hikers follwing behind him.

We all chatted on and soon let out for the next water source, Thomas and I hiked together and chatted on about climbing and what life would hold post PCT. Its always interesting to hear peoples thoughts on what will happen after.

After filtering from the next stagnant pond I then pressed on alone. The golden hour was upon me and I loved this time of day. I trekked until finally emmerging to an open view clearly seeing Mt Shasta in all its glory! Pilgram, Mouse, and JustMatt were hanging out taking it in. WE chatted and I finally pressed the last 2 miles to camp that I set up as the last onces of light from the sun faded from the sky. Another great day, padding on the trail!

Hiker Profile:

Sweep, 30s, from Florida. He was a contractor working in construction before coming to the PCT. He had a Gregory pack and had everything dialed in before stopping off in Old Station. He put his pack down onthe picknick tables out back to go inside just for as minute. Soon a car with 3 people pulled up and they scoped out his pack one at a time before the last one grabbed it and they jumped back in making a speedy getaway. Sweep had missed them by moments, and when he realized what happened, was devistated. He said “I felt like I wanted to Cry and Puke at the same time” I felt for the guy. He hitched into Reading and went to an Outdoors store where he dropped 1500 getting new gear. To top it all off he had just gone through a breakup with his gf just 2 weeks ago after not being able to make the long distance work. He in the midst of trying to forgive and forget, putting the whole thing behind him and moving on.

Suppliment Suggestions: Glucosamine, glutamine, multi vitamin, branch chain amino acids.

Thomas: 20s, from Columbus Ohio. Paint cars for a living and wants to get into climbing. He hiked the AT in 2015, the PCT up to Lake Taho in 2016 (had to come off trail after a shoulder injury), and is now back in 2018 to finish the PCT from Tahoe to Canada. He feels like his people are out west and all outdoorsey. Not many people in Ohio have his lifestyle or knack for trekking, so post PCT hell be looking for a new home.


PCT Day 97: Mile 1381.5-1411.5 Burney



Never bank on a cache

In the morning I woke and got moving. Packing up and taking in the sunrise I looked over to see BearCan also up and getting ready. After going through the morning routine I let out first and said goodbye.

The weather was perfect and the open planes were welcoming sight. The sage brush and manzanita lined the trail as it skirted the Hat Rim, just on the edge overlooking the Lava valley below. I pressed on for a few miles before BearCan came barrelling through! He was on a mission and I wasnt about to get in his way. I was easily mozing along taking in the wildflowers, the ladybug like beatles, the bugs, and of course Mount Shasta in the distance seemingly covered in smoke. It was fire season after all.

After trekking for some miles on the rim i passed a few roads. One of which was supposed to have a large water tank (Cache 22). After walking up to the large tank, I noticed it was empty. It wasnt later until I found out there was a smaller tank for hikers to use.

t had already started getting pretty warm and I started calculating the distance and time to the next creek. There was 13 miles and I had about 1.5 liters. I would have to do and I set out back hooving away at the trail. A few miles later I met a trio hiding in the shade and they got up to hike as oon as I passed by. I hadnt seen anyone all day and greeted them accordingly. A little while later I found myself a nice shady juniper tree overlooking the valley below and took a break of my own!

It was hot, around 100 degrees but I had to eat something to keep my body firing on all cylinders. I stupped some crackers and gummy worms down my gullet and sipped on the warm water in my bottles. It wouldnt be long before it felt as though it were boiling. I finish up and dropped into the valley pressing hard and trying not to theink fo the heat. Open grass meadows with yellow grass and trees springing up were all around with lava rocks to boot.

The next few miles dragged on, but funally I came to the creek I most despriratly needed to keep me goign. The water was cool and the 3 fellas I saw earlier were breaking nearby. I chatted with them again and finally pressed on. The scenery totally changed and I was in this lysh Oasis. There were lakes with life abound: birds, squirrel, geese, pelecans, it was all around!

After taking in the scenery I trekked on through the trees until coming to Berny Ranch turnoff where BearCan and myself planned to meet. I pulled in and saw Fuji and her boyfriend who had some from Holland to trel with her for some time. We caught up before I went and checked out the Ranch. There was lemonade, burritoes, showers, laundry, and a store to resuppply. I got clean, did some laundry and stuffed myself before deciding I sitll needed a few miles before sleeping.

BearCan and I pushed out tpgether after charging our battery packs as far as we could in the time we had. We trekked the next few miles as the sun set, and after I got my 30 miles done I set up camp. Bearcan had bigger plans and decided to press a few more before calling it quites. We said goodbye, hopefully ill see him again before all this is over!

Hiker Profile:

BearCan (Vincent) 22, From Montreal Canada, he is a huge foodie, even goes as far to listen to podcasts about food during the day (dangerous move out here haha). He studies Political Science and has taken a break to hike the PCT. When he goes back to Canada he plans to immerse himself in some food oriented courses which will drive him towards his passion. Hes a native French speaker, short in stature to the average, but is a ball of energy, hikes fast, and has a great sense of humor. Always cracking jokes and has a good time, but is very serious about his hiking and pushing himself to meet his finish goal date.


PCT Day 96: Mile 1352.5-1381.5 Old Station Fill Up



The trail provides.

After the hard mental day I had the day before. I needed a win. And of course, the trail provides. The day started out simple enough and the grade was a cool rolling chillfest compared to the last few days and I really needed it.

I glided along in the morning light before finally coming to a large burn area. I am not sure why, but it seemed to be more deer travel than foot travel! I trekked on and it reminded me of some trails in arizona, a little bit of home to cheer me up. I looked up and saw a healthy deers bounding along headed away from me. I soon passed a nice big lake where I grabbed water from the next few miles.

There seemed to be almost no one out. I only ever saw 2 day hikers on the trail and bearCan was somewhere behind me enjoying a slow morning. The burn area soon turned to pines and manzanita and I plopped down for a quick break. Cool whisper of wind through the pine tops was so welcoming and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I pressed the next few miles through the froest and soon I could hear Hat Creek in the distance. I was fine on water, but for some reason the creek sounded so inviting and cool that it made my mouth dry. I soon arived at its banks and plopped down for lunch just as BearCan pulled up.

We chatted on and chilled out before pushing the last 7 miles to Old station. There we grabbed a nice lunch from JJ’s including a tasty burger and a cold beer. Grabbing some food from the gas station would hold us for the next few days and we pushed out for the next ridge.

It wasnt long before we had gained a large plateau that overlooked the valley. It seemed that as soon as we did the fireworks went on display. The sunset was incredible! We found a great spot just on the edge of the cliff and took it in as we ate dinner and watched the sun dissapear behind the moutnains. What a way to end a much needed great day!


PCT Day 95: Mile 1323.5-1352.5 Lasson National Park



Quite. This was the first day since I set foot on the trail that the idea entered my mind. It was like a small mouse that finally found himslef in the cleanest house on the block with an all you can eat buffet on the dining room table. It all started with a last alarm and setting off from camp half past 6am.

BearCan and I had just hit the halfway point the night before and were determined to get pretty far into the Lasson NP. The goal was 34 miles. I set out as usual, and the day before I had sent a message out to friends to send me some music (as I had none and hadnt listened to any on trail to this point) just to have some motivation when the batteries ran down. After finagling for some lengthy time, I got it to work and put on some of the new tunes. In trekking down the hill we went through a tree cutting area. I got to meet one of the guys, who asked me about the PCT in passing and he laughed when he heard about people dropping out in the first 2 weeks. His name was TearSow, and his hard working stature, face covered in sweat and wood chips made me think of what hard work it takes to do such a job. I could have put an American flag behind him and he would have been a perfect poster for some working man’s magazine. After chatting I said goodbye to him and his black and white dog and headed down the trail.

The music was nice for a bit, but I felt like my mojo had run out. I just didnt have the push, the drive as usual. I tried to call some friends when I had signal, quite a few no answers. It seemed like a lot of little things that didnt matter were adding up. Somewhere between the strange headspace and th 8 back to back long miled days my body finally said no. It didnt want to go, my legs hurt, my feet hurt (later I though of the scene in Happy Gilmore where Ben Stiller was being abusive to the grandmothers nitting blankets), and I started mulling all the reasons I was out here over in my head. I thought about being tired, and the heat, the cicadas song reminding me it was hot, and my head pounding. I thought about Arizona, and red rocks, climbing, hanging out with friends and family, cooking a real meal, ice cold drink in my hand and just relaxing in a hammock, going to spend time with my girlfriend. It was not a great place to be, and on top of it I had a splitting headache. I had been chugging water, thinking it was dehydration, but no avail. Just quite . . . I heard the whisper again.

I stopped for a break under a bridge with BearCan and 2 others. I noticed how snappy I was, just very irritable. I trekked the next 5 solo, and tried to enjoy the views. I went right back to negative town, and finally I thought about just going home. It was a wierd head space to be in, and finally after reaching the next spring, making some food and chugging water and some vitimin I, I finally started coming back to life. I then started thinking about how long I had longed for the chance to be out here on the PCT. How this was my one and only chance to complete it, how I would have to try an explain my reasons for stopping early, how I could be at work right now still just dreaming of being out here in raw gorgeous nature.

BearCan let out and I finished my break with my shoes off. Finally I got up and started trekking like normal again. My feet still hurt a bit, but appreciating the views and the privilege I had to be out here finally pulled me back in the game. I put my gameface on, trekked the last beautiful hill towards camp that awaited up by a nice creek. We got there by 8pm, first time in a while since camp came so early. We enjoyed it, and were soon fed and in our bags, getting ready for the oncoming, well needed, slumber!


PCT Day 94: Mile 1295.5-1323.5 Halfway Point



I woke early and packed up. Pocket Rocket was up in her tent putting her things away as I waved goodbye and walked out of camp. Still no BearCan (Vincnet). I trekked on and enjoyed the morning hike alone. I crossed the creek that I slept next to the night before and began the long grind up the mountain.

On the way I passed a fella named Macro who was sitting by a tree enjoying some coffee and going on about hiking in really late the night before. I said hello and twisted up the gain by the winding trail. Finally I popped out on top to find 3 tents near the Butte Mountain summit with sleeping hikers. They must have had a late night too as the sun must have been shinning on them for a half hour now. I went to the true peak, plopped down on a rock and had a snack. After a nice long break hikers finally began immerging onto the peak. Pocket Rocket, Macro, Patches, and Finally BearCan!

I was glad to see he made it fine and we all chatted on as we hiked to the next spring to get some ice cold tasty water. Apparently he had hiked just before my camp figured we would meet up the next day.

The next 7 miles to the next spring was a slog! Everyone dispersed and hiked their own pace, somehow I found myself in a stooper just slugging along. My legs were tired and I had zero energy. At one point my feet hurt so bad that I had to stop for 5 minutes just to rest them. I pressed on and finally arrived at the turnoff for the next spring. I dropped my bag and began to decend the 0.3 miles to water. It seemed so far in my mind. When I finally got there BearCan has lugged his pack down and was having lunch. We chatted, I grabbed water, and headed back to my pack for lunch. Soon Patches and Macro showed up and we all chatted on before I headed out for the long push to the half way monument!

Off BearCan and I went rolling through the hills and taking in the sights. After a few miles, from the side of the trail I heard “GoatMan!” I turned to see who it was, and it was HotBunz! Him and Bones were the two hikers did the 24 challenge and I hadnt seenhim since Casa De Luna! We caught up quickly and I said goodbye as I rushed along to catch up to BearCan. We I finally caught up we were on a good climb. The last big hill of the day. It was one heck of a haul and after some good huffing and puffing we saw Pocket rocket’s camp. Of course we stopped and chatted and she told of us her horrible DEET explosion in her pack and how half the things in there were melting. Ewww

We pressed on, and after 3.5 quick miles we finally founf the MidPoint Monument! It was a really awesome moment, and with a cracking of brews and opening of Doritoes we celebrated the milestone (literally). After signing the register we walked just 0.6 miles and found camp where Navagator (from South Africa) was camped. We joined on some nearby pads and soon after food and shooting the shit we were all in bed sleeping like babies!


PCT Day 93: Mile 1270-1295.5 Belden



Ive noticed the run ins with bear and deer have most definitly spiked in northern California. After settling into my sent I could hear something in the darkness fumbling around, cracking twings, and running away once scarred off. I was silly and had my food in my vestibule. I was so tired when I came to came and there were so many other hikers camped there, that I thought no bear would come close. I was wrong and assuredly would be better in the future.

I stirred at 12 and again at 2 and 4, hikers were waking up and packing up to leave. I was pretty surprised to see the sheer number of night hikers, I guess everyone has to get their miles their own way! I packed up and was soon trekking on the trail w coffee in hand. Not 0.2 miles later I found Vincent who was just finnishing his brekfast! He told me about his run in with undoubtedly the same bear I heard the night before.

It was time to move and I boogied on up the rest of the hill. Finally the forest gave way to long vistas and I could see some granite ourcroppings with ranges of pine covered mountains in all directions! I could even see some snow on a far peak to the north, I was curious if it was shasta, then hiked on. Twisting through the open brush covered terrain I finally made it to the dropoff towards Belden and started down. I saw Vincent and a few other hikers as I decended. The heat started to rise and by the time both Vincent and I got to the bottom, it was roasting!

On the walk into town, we saw this very cool tiny house, build on the back of an old ford. Big glass windows, hardwood floores, and a huge queen sized mattress pulled the whole thing together. It was pretty cool! Once we reached the resturant nd gneral store, we re-uped on food, grabbed some lunch and a beer for the road. After a quick nap and some time with our batteries plugged up, we were ready to go!

We pressed on, it was 5pm and we hoped to get 8 miles in before camp. The heat was on, and we were both determined to make good time! We trekked on, first just skirting the trail that followed the river, then finally turning north where the trail really started gaining quickly! It was on and we both were throwing the hammer down, keeping in sink step by step. The sun bore down on us fully and the humidity of the day didnt help. After a few miles Vincent pulled over and let me take the lead. I hit the Arizona button!

I keeped on pressing our same pace the whole way up the climb, in spite of the blistering heat. Sweaty as all het out I kept pushing, passing anyone I saw on trail. And after a while I didnt see Vincent. WE had already planned on a stopping point together, and Vincent is a strong hiker, so I didnt think twice and kept going in my groove. I trekked pn and up through the heat until finally I entered the protective canopy of the forest.

The temp cooled quickly and after grabbing some cool water by a creek flowing over the trail, I felt my heat lower. It felt good to trek solo and I rambled through the pretty woods. Ferns, moss, trees of all sorts, it really was a little slice of paradise! I kept trekking until finally I had reached my camp for the evening. I set up tent and waited for my friend. One German and 2 Polocs came into came, but no Vincent. I cooked dinner, stretched, and chatted with my new friends over dinner. Still no Vincent. I hope he didnt get sick on the hike up, or worst twist an ankle. I guess no sense in worrying until I see him next. Finslly in bed I dozed off, tired to the core, looking forward to another great day!


PCT Day 92: Mile 1237-1270 Feather Creek



Smiles, not Miles

The day before was a late one, so i decided to delay my alarm until 5:20 (Woohoo really sleeping i haha). At 5:10 I heard a twig snap near my tent. I woke thinking that Vincent was up and starting to pack up. I looked over and there was no light or movement. I looked again and saw a large dark figure about 5 feet below Vincents tent. I raised up on one elbow to get a better look. As I did I realized it was a cinnimon collered bear about the size of Vincents tent.

The bear heard thesound from my sleeping pad as I raised up and looked right at me. As soon as he noticed me he tuked tail and ran. Whew, what a close one! Once Vincent woke up I told him about what happened and he was all smiles!

After the jolt of the morning, it was time to get going and there was 1 thing on Vincent and my minds, Feather River swimming hole! We were a short 13 miles that was mostly downhill to the river and we were excited to see what was boasted as one of the bet swimming holes on the trail. I pressed on from camp having bye and started my assault on the downhill.

As I twisted and winded through the forest, I began to smell a very aromatic flower that reminded me of a magnolia. I searched to mind no tree, but ever time I smelled it, I would find a bush that looked much like an Azalea bush. I took note and some pictures before hiking on.

The heat started to rise as I decended towards the river. I could hear the Cicadas song of summer started up and I knew it was getting got. I twisted and winded and finally a large bridge spanning the river came into view and soon saw 4 or 5 hikers in the water below. I hiked over to the river bank, dropped my stuff and got in. What a treat!

This was so refreshing, the water wasnt too cold, the cliff jumping was awesome, and everyone was in high spirits! The group all hung out after the swim and had lunch. I did a little laundry, and enjoyed the break in the sun. Unfortunatly, it was time to pay the pipper.

We had decended to 2900 feet to get to the river. The climb on the other side would bring us to 5800 feet. Of course it was the hottest part of the day to boot! I finished lunch, packed up, and was soon huffing it up the trail. Big up, little down, and a big up twisted me through the woods. The humidity was up and I was sweating like no tomorrow. When I finally stopped for water it was a welcome break. Slippy (Az) and OneStep (UK) were there and we chatted on about Arizona and the AZT.

Once again I pressed on further into the pine forest, which with the gain came a little cool air for relief. The views opened up and we soon came to lookout rock. Most of the guys were headed to a trail Angels Cabin. Vincent and myself had another 10 miles to go and it was already 5pm! Although gorgeous, the miles werent going to hike themselves!

I pressed on, and after winding through the woods solo I popped out to a road wherer I had just missed some trail magic. Darn! I pressed on and soon found the Rolling Stoned group (large group of 12ish hikers that rolled together) and reunited caught up for a minute. Looking at the sky and the fading light, I said my goodbyes and pushed the last 2 miles before camp.

I was most definitly the last to roll into camp and there were not many spots. Apparently this was the most popular camp in the woods! After a good long 15 hr day, I was tired and didnt care where I slept. I found a spot, plopped down, made dinner, stretched a little, and crawled my beat butt in bed. Tomorrow is another day, and the miles can wait until then =)


PCT Day 91: Mile 1207.5-1237 Alder Spring



No rest for the wicked

I was stirred from my sleep. It ws midnight and I was warm. I tossed and turned. My head was aching and I chugged water thinking it was from dehydration. I layed back down and still, no sleep. After finally taking some IBuprofin and stairing up at te stars, I coaxed myself back to sleep. The 5am alarm blasted as if it were just 5 minutes later.

I felt grogy, but fought through to get the morning routine complete. I saw Hillbilly hike by as I was finishing up, and soon after I was on the trail. I hiked up and on, taking in the views and noticing everything was muted by a thick overcast sky. Despite this, the neon green moss popped as though the pines were wearing fancy diner jackets. I trekked on, soon finding Hillbilly, and then Vincent. Vincent was packing up and LadysFirst went zooming by with a huge smile, talking about having a record day. We waved him on and I set off after chatting.

You were either deep in the wood, or out on a hilltop. I zigzagged through the woods solo, trying to enjoy it. Somewhere in me was sluggish, either from the lack of sleep or the overcast day that begged a melloncolly attitude. I trekked on, soon after stopping for water at Little Jamison Spring I saw Vincent, 2 othersw, and finally Hillbilly. We all chated on, I complained about being a slug, then threw my pack on and hiked out after the crew.

It was a pretty solo hike from here, twisting and turning through the pine forest. Wild flowers, downed trees, birds out to play, it was all in the mix. And then . . . it rained. Or sprinkled at least! It was a welcomed change, id rather have rain then overcast all day. I hiked on pressing up the hills, it seemed to be a lot of up/down for supposedly being “easy”. I ained a big hill to find Bryan, a hiker that I met in Sierra City the day before, all set up for camp just hanging out. I said hello and we chatted a bit as I plopped down and had a final break before my last push to camp. He told me about his time in culinary school, and how he loved to cook.

After I was done with my snacks, I knew the 7 miles I had left were not going to wait on me as the light faded and I pressed on. I twisted and winded through the forest, popping out onto a large open ridge taking in the sight before being swallowed by the forest again. I padded on, feet against the nice trail until I popped out at a road, seeing a brown Jeep and Vincent sitting nearby. “Hey man!” I esclaimed, and we caught up as the 2 guys in the Jeep offered me a beer. I took it happily and we all chatted.

It wasnt long and we were off again. Vincent an I trekke the remaining 2 miles to Alder Spring, set up camp, and stretched before dinner. There was a fire going by a section hiker named Billy D and a few of us gathered around as the last spirts of light faded from the sky. I crawled into my tent, beat and tired, ready for sleep!

Hiker Profile: Bryan – Early 20s, from Salem Oregon. He got a late start in the desert and had regular 100 degree days. He decided to skip ahead to Kennedy Meadows South and has been trekking on ever since. He was trained as a cook and has been wokring his way up from the bottom, hoping to one day have his own food truck. If he were home, he would cook the following meal for his mom: Appetizer: Guac & Chips, 1st Course: Mushroom risotto and Grilled asparagus, 2nd course: BBQ ribs, Dessert: Strawberry Milkshake. It sounded like heaven on earth to me!


PCT Day 90: Mile 1187-1207.5 Sierra City



Ignore the Sirens Call

I woke early as usual and got moving. I loved the early morning starts. Something about being on the trail alone with little sound except the forest waking up and enjoying all the ways the suns light played off the landscape was awesome. Today was no different and i decended the large ridge I had gained the night before.

Down down down I went until I could hear the sound of a rushing river draw near. I continued to hike down and the creek just became louder. The canyon I was decending into was lush with undergrowth. Pines, bushes, ferns, the list went on and it seemed as though it was a nestled away little haven. It reminded my of Crabtree Falls VA.

As I hiked through the tranquil canyon, a hum of engine broke the peacefullness. At first I couldnt tell if it was cutting trees or clearing rocks. Once I was near enough the unmistakable sounds of a bucket grating rocks becme distinct. I trekked on quickly and was soonin the shaded veil of the mountain, listening to the road far below. I continued to decend the canyon and the canopy shaded me until I came to a bridge far above a rushing river. I could see it cascading downand a large group of hikers were by its banks hanging out. I had no time to chill, so I pressed on to the road ad was soon walking towards town with my thumb out.

A nice woman with 2 dogs picked me up and dropped me in the city center. I thanked her and soon was enveloped in having breakfast, greeting friends I hadnt seen in weeks, and finding my resupply box in the bck of the general store. I sat outside catching up and chatting on (Downward dog, Weezer, Napolean, Hillbilly, Matt (Trail Dale), The Muffin Man, both new and old friends were there) as I went through my chores. I had set a time to be leaving down . . . it expired. I set a later time . . . like hitting the snooze button I deferred it again. Once 2pm rolled around I knew that if I didnt get out I would be trapped! I gathered my bag and my Hiker 2 Trail sign and stood by the road.

I found Weezer, from the Mt Whitney day!

Soon the gal that ran the coffee shop in the summer picked me up nd dropped me at trail. It was time to move and the gain was certainly hardy! It took off up through tree covered switchbacks for some mies before opening up to a manzanita grove and switchbacked under the open sun. Soon I caught MotherHen, Calisi, and SpiritKick all trekking up the hill. We said hello and after some good sweat all met the ridge. I stopped to chat and after a short break I took off down the hill towards camp.

I paused at a creek for water and continued to pad down the beautiful hillside until a small horse camp came into sight. Hillbilly and Bearcan (as I started calling a new friend Vincient that I met in town because he still has his bear can) were set up at a table and informed me the price to stay was 24$. Holy wow! All three of us decided to push on and soon after some quarter of a mile I found a sutable spot. I was almost 9 already and I was way behind getting camp set up. Finally the tent was up, food in my belly, and soon snuggled in by bag waiting for sleep to take over!


PCT Day 89: Mile 1156-1187



Time to put the hammer down.

I woke feeling pretty well despite the 3 alarms I silenced to get a little more sleep. I packed up quickly and was moving on the trail before 6. My pack was on the 3rd day of resupply, so it felt light as a feather. I cranked on, watching the golden light spill through the trees.

Birds “danced” in the trail in front of me. I say danced in the nicest way to say copulating. I chuckled a bit and kept hiking on. I could hear the roar of the interstate as I neared it. Even at this early hour, cars and 18 wheelers rumbed past. The PCT went under the Interstate through some nicely layed tunnels and I soon popped out on the other side.

The morning was my most favorite time, not many hikers out, the golden hour is on, and you can usually see some cool wildlife. I kept on trekking pausing for a moment as a guy named Goldie came walking by with his phone playing music audibly. I hiked on closer, thinking he was changing songs, before finally I recognized the tune and realized he wasnt listening to music, he was watching Star Wars. I laughed out loud and asked him. He admitted it proudly and I passed him, leaving him to his movie.

Soon after cranking down on a good pace I started decending a hill through the pine forest and I happened upon 2Plated and Condo, a british couple I hadnt seen since the desert! We chatted on and carried on down the trail to keep the mosquitoes from feasting on us. After stopping for water I bid them farewell and hiked on.

The next section was a constant swap between flower covered mountain sides, pine forest, and ridge top vistas. I couldnt be more happy and a few of the vistas reminded me of trekking on the AT in Virginia.

I rolled on through and soon stopped at a creek to fill water. There were a few other hikers around commenting about a 10 mile stretch without water. I thought back to the days of the desert and knew northern cali could be just the same. After saying goobye I pressed on through the thick green woods an again twisted and turned through the valleys and mountains.

Finally after grabbing water under a vehicle bridge near the Jackson Meadow Campground I started to gain the last ridge before my final stop. I could see Jackson Meadows Resivoir from the ridge and enjoyed the vista. I soon met a nice fella from North Carolina named Hillbilly. He was really chatty and very nice. He went on about how he had trekked the AT in ’99 and how much he has been enjoying the PCT. Especially all the great trail magic that he was so fortunate to come upon!

We pressed the final ridge together, and I soon found an overlook with the perfect pad for my tent. Hillbilly took off towards his own site and left me to set up, cook, stretch, and crawl my tired butt into my tent. What a great day! Just a few more miles to Sierra City and a whole new bag of food!

Hiker Profile: Condo (Wayne) + 2Plates (Danielle) a british couple in the mid 40s who after mutiple trips to the states doing road trips and hiking treks, they decided to set their sights a little bigger. Having been all over the west and dabbled in the east they settled on the PCT to test themselves. 2plates was an elementary school teacher, and Condo was a Controls Engineer for a contracting company. Both deciding life is to short to be wasted sitting around have made the best of it, sold their house in 2010 and have been creating experiences for themselves ever since!


PCT Day 88: Mile 1129.5-1156 Truckee



The alarm blasted and it was time to move. I stood from my tent to see the first glimpses of light across Lake Tahoe. It was lite up in orange from the light and reflected it full on. An awesome view to wake up to, and I hoped the rest of the day would yield the same.

As I packed up and trekked out of camp I was greated by the flowers the seemed to follow me all day. The wildflowers, yellow, red, whoite, orange, speckled the fields through which the trail cut. The tall pines continued to tower above and I pressed on up and through the ridgeline. You could see for miles, the Lake below and the mountains ahead, it was really a sight to see.

I soon happened upon Nightwalker who was just standing after packing up his bag. I said hello recognizing him from North Kennedy Meadows and we chatted for a bit as we both let out on the ridgeline. We chatted on and took in the views. Soon I came across the first of 3 skiing areas I would find that day. The lifts stayed still in their dormant state. I trekked on and soon after plumitting down the backside of a hill I began to run into Flip Flop PCTers. I was amazed at how many I bumped into. I counted 7 in a 30 minute stretch. That coupled with all the new faces I had not yet met made an impression on the sheer number of PCTers I found on trail that day.

I kept pressing on, through the wood, and across the mountains. Soon I knew I would find Truckee and towards the end of a long day I crossed highway 40 where I met Stitches, chilling by the road waiting on friends. We chatted for a bit and I debated on going to a Ski Resort for some dinner. Deciding the mile were a little more important than more money spent on cold brew and a meal, I pressed on. The granit in this area was so interesting and I thought about climbing it. I turned a corner and saw 2 climbers, roped up and simuling a chill fun looking climb! I said my hellos and chatted in passing. How I missed pulling on rock. Besides people back home, I missed climbing most.

I pressed on soon finding a stagnant lake that I filtered from. Only a few miles left before camp I trekked on admiring the Granit faces nearby and dreamed on about climbing. I rounded a corner and soon found a nice little flat spot where I pitched my tent and started up dinner. It was a long day, but a good one. I hoped tomorrow would bring the same!

Hiker Profile:

Nightwalker, From Grass Valley CA, hiked a 160 mile section of the PCT in 2017. Now hes back to take on the full thing. Post PCT, he plans to go to Japan for a 750 mile trail. Just celebrating his birthday in South Lake Tahoe he has been enjoying seeing family and friends as this is his stomping grounds. He treks with a light pack and fast. His stride is short like mine, but he takes it on with a pizzaz that makes him fly across the landscape.


PCT Day 87: Mile 1103.5-1129.5 Granit Chief Wilderness



The alarm becconed, and after silencing it twice I rose. I went through the morning routine, all the while fighting off the inesscent mosquitoes. I finally stood, breakfast in had, pack on my pack, ready for trail. I waved goodbye to Dragon who I met the day before and took my leave. I started up the hill and soon found the trail gained the back side of a large ridge.

The sights were awesome from the top, I could see the mountains in the distance and all the valleys harboring their alpine lakes. I trekked on taking in the views and soon passed over Dicks Pass. Dropping like a rock I descended, until skirting Dicks Lake and soon re-entering the lush forest. The trail twisted and winded through the woods and sometimes would give way to views of granite gradure.

I only passed 2 Tahoe Rim Trail hikers in the morning, and I was happy to accept the solo hiking. I trekked on through the twisting woods before 3 ultralight guys gained and passed me. I plopped down for a nice break overlooking Velma Lakes and admired the views. Before long I pulled my shoes back on and was soon padding down the trail again.

This was the story of the day. I would trek for a few hours, until my feet cried like dtired dogs, and I would give them a break and snack on. Soon throwing my slightly lighter pack back on and padding once again down the dirt trail. At one such break I met Guru, who was from Portland OR. He was married and she came out to visit a time or two. Today was his first chance in some time to press on beyond 25 miles since the desert. He was lanky and had a bounding gate, it was easy to see he could crank out some speed if he so desired. We chatted on for a bit before finally I grabbed my bag and pressed on.

The forest began to show signs of moss as it began to appear on the huge pines. I couldnt help but admire it, and soon with the backdrop of Lake Tahoe, the views seem to demand respect! I walked in awe for the next few miles, taking in all its beauty as the sun began to drop to its golden hour. Guru’s gang seemed to stop short after finding a nice campsite, but I wanted the rudge, and pressed on for it. The gain became hardy and the switchbacks kicked my view back and forth giving ne some pretty awesome vistas. I finally gained the ridge, and tired from the long day, went through the routine of making camp, cooking, and stretching my tired body. It was a good long day, undoubtedly tomorrow woukd bring the same. Or at least I hoped!


PCT Day 79-86: Mile 1090-1103.5 Gilmore Lake



Izzie arrived on Saturday afternoon after a long 9 hour drive from Utah. We then spent the next week trekking around the Desolation Wilderness, and the Lake Tahoe. Fireworks from Tallac, kayaking to Roubicon Point, SUPing to Fannette Island in Emerald Bay, Backpacking to Eagle Lake, Velma Lakes, and Fallen Leaf Lake, it was a good week.

I said my goodbyes as she dropped me off at the trailhead where I would once again get back onto the PCT. It had been a week since I put footsteps on the dirt trail and I greeted it like an old friend. Pack heavy with a full resupply I trekked on. Within a mile I came the the highway 50 crossing. Cars zoomed by at great spead and I bided my time until finally I found my break and soon found myself back in the protection of the forest and the padded trail.

The trees and lush brush welcomed me in open arms and after some quick work I found myself at the trailhead for Echo Lake. There was a store and an abundance of hikers and boaters. I grabbed some last minute provisions and got on my way.

There were tons of day hikers and Taho Rim Trail backpackers all on the trail. It was alarming to the point of overwhelming with the numberof people I ran into. After pressing on to some serine lake views I calmed back into the rythm of padding my feet on the trail and went to work. The views were grand and the lakes just kept on coming. Lower Echo, Upper Echo, Aloha, Heather Lake, Susie lake, and finally Gilmore Lake where I would stay for the night.

n the trail just befor Gilmore I met Dirt, who was a flip flop hiker. He bailed from the Sierras, got a hitch to Oregon, then started hiking south. Once he reaches the town of Indepandance, he plans of hitching again and finishing his hike from Oregon to the Canadian boarder. We chatted for a while and went on about northern California and what I had ahead of me.

I pressed on until seeing the golden hour begin and decided to stop at Gilmore Lake to rest for the night. I et Dragon, who was a retired Powerplant worker, was our here to enjoy the long haul. He too had a long layover in South Lake Tahoe and was excited to get his feet back on trail. I set up my tent, stretchedm, ate, sipped a beer from the Echo Lake store and setted in for the night. Its time to push some miles, only thing between me and the Canadian boarder is the limit of how fast my feet can carry me.

Hiker Profile:

Dirt: A flit flop hiker from Michigan. He has a good 1500 miles under his belt and as soon as the Sierras is done, will be headed back northbound. Very nice guy, welcoming chat and loving the trail. Were getting close to that 50% mark and its strange to chat with theoe remaining hoping to press to the finish.