Marmots, Mosquitoes, Mountains and More Marmots

Everyone says the Sierras are one of the best parts of the trail. They don’t tell you how quickly they pass by. A few hundred miles feels too short on a 2,600-mile trail, and I’m already despairing their end, even though we’re not even to Yosemite yet. We arrived at the southern end of the…

Hike the PCT With One Simple Trick

Hiking through the wilderness, now 745 miles in, I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks about how to survive in the woods, physically and mentally. Eat snacks often. Tighten your backpack hip belt every hour. Take a shower every chance you have. Don’t fight your urge to pee in the middle of the night,…

Losing Myself (And My Pants) in the Desert

PCT hikers complain about the desert. Too hot during the day, too cold at night, too little water. Maybe as a Southern Californian I am biased, but I’ve always thought the desert gets a bad rap. And after hiking through the 700-mile “desert section,” I am ready to defend it. First, “desert section” is a…

Do I deserve this hospitality?

I am sitting on a bed in a mobile home in Agua Dulce, California, freshly showered and in clean clothes. Down the hall is a fully stocked bathroom and a kitchen complete with appliances, plates and utensils. There is a barbecue outside, free rides into town every hour and a half, and a lounge with…

Weeks 2 and 3 – My Vanilla Personality

If I was under the illusion that hiking from Mexico to Canada would make me a more interesting person, my actual experience on the PCT has only confirmed how boringly normal I am. When it comes to colorful character, I can’t hold a candle against the other hikers I’ve met. Consider this anecdote from a…

Week 1 – Sand and Snow

And on our third day, Mother Nature gave us rain, hail, and finally snow. If you think thirty-six miles north of the Mexican border is too far south for snow, I now have pictorial evidence to the contrary, above. What’s impressive is the snow on our tent surely weighed more than the tent itself. Even…