I live just an hour away from the southern terminus of what is possibly the most beautiful long trail in the world: the Pacific Crest Trail. Spanning 2,650 miles, this ribbon of skyway snakes along the Peninsular Ranges, the Transverse Ranges, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascades all the way from Mexico to Canada.
As a child, I saw signs for the PCT in southern Oregon when I went camping with my grandparents there. I remember wondering where the trail went, but time passed and I forgot about it.
Then in early 2015 I saw the movie Wild, which reminded me of my earlier fascination with the trail. I had never thought about walking the whole thing before. I got hooked on the idea.
But it takes a lot of planning to do the whole thing in one year, and I had some family and professional responsibilities that couldn’t wait. So I put off my thru-hike until my kids were in college and I could take a sabbatical. I have a long post about that decision here.
Between 2015 and 2020 I did Section Hikes on different parts of the PCT whenever I got the chance. And it was amazing.
I always say “the PCT never lets you down!”
And in 2021 I finally got to attempt a thru-hike, walking a continuous footpath along the PCT from border to border.
I decided to get off trail after 50 days, mainly because I missed my wife too much. It was the right choice for me. I left after four of the most beautiful, wonderful days of hiking in my life.
But now I am itching to try again!
I plan to do a flip flop this time. And I’m not sure I have enough time to actually finish it this year, but it will be great to do as much as I can.
In March I will start at the Mexico border and head north to the Sierra.
In May I need to get off trail for a couple of months while Half Cookie is away.
In August, I will join Goose at the Canadian border and hike with him south through Washington.
Then in September/October I may keep heading south on the PCT in Oregon and whatever I didn’t get to do earlier.
But we’ll see. I am feeling more relaxed about everything this time.
My Flora and Fauna Observations (feedback appreciated!)
Day 1: Here We Go, the Snow!
Day 2: Pure Exhaustion
Day 3: No More Snow (For Now)
Day 4: Cross Country Fun
Day 5: Another Atmospheric River