Pacific Crest Trail 2017

I started my PCT hike on May 8, 2017 at the US-Mexico border, reached the Canadian border on September 16, and finished my hike on October 28 in Seiad Valley, California.


While I always hiked north-bound, I did not hike straight through from Mexico to Canada: I skipped the High Sierra due to the excessive snow-pack and dangerous stream crossings, and returned to complete those miles in the fall; I skipped 200 miles in northern California when I got sick, and returned to finish that section late in the year; I encountered wildfire closures in California, Oregon, and Washington – I walked around some closures and skipped around others.

Each night I sat in my tent and wrote about my day; I posted one blog entry for every day on the trail. Click on the section you’re interested in, or scroll down for all entries.

Southern California

Sierra Nevada (Kennedy Meadows to Mount Whitney)

Northern California (Donner Summit to Castle Crags)



Sierra Nevada (Mount Whitney to Donner Summit)

Northern California (Castle Crags to Seiad Valley)

Southern California

Day 1: First steps as a thru-hiker

Day 2: Hauser Creek and Lake Morena

Day 3: Goodbye, blue sky

Day 4: Into the trees, down to the city

Day 5: Into the wind

Day 6: The first big water carry

Day 7: Party of three

Day 8: Chasing a rainbow

Day 9: Eagle Rock and Warner Springs

Day 10: Up into a cloud

Day 11: Hottest day, longest day

Day 12: Burger day

Day 13: Zero day

Day 14: Long, hot climb

Day 15: Adrenaline overdose

Day 16: The 12 hour climb

Day 17: The 10 hour descent

Day 18: Ten by 10

Day 19: Birthday

Day 20: A day among trees

Day 21: Eowyn, daughter of Jukebox

Day 22: Zero in Big Bear

Day 23: Sap ‘n’ chafe

Day 24: A tale of two snakes

Day 25: Trashed

Day 26: My day of pain

Day 27: Cutting it all

Day 28: Eighteen pounds of water

Day 29: Light pack, heavy mind

Day 30: Zero in Wrightwood

Day 31: Second zero

Day 32: Baden Powell

Day 33: Endangered species detour

Day 34: PCT traffic jam

Day 35: Cold and wet

Day 36: Hiking to Hiker Heaven

Day 37: Into the heat

Day 38: Urgent care

Day 39: On my own

Day 40: Metamorphosis

Day 41: Killing it

Day 42: Where southern California ends

Days 43-44: Tehachapi zeroes

Day 45: Golden Oak Spring

Day 46: Robin Bird Spring

Day 47: I out-hike the sunset

Day 48: Walker Pass

Day 49: No longer alone

Day 50: Another day, another blister

Sierra Nevada: Kennedy Meadows to Mount Whitney

Day 51: Kennedy Meadows

Day 52: Nearo (nearly zero)

Day 53: Entering the Sierra

Day 54: A new use for insoles

Day 55: Sometimes, I whisper

Day 56: Sometimes, I cry

Day 57: I turn back

Day 58: Disappointment and relief

Northern California: Donner Summit to Castle Crags

Day 59: Home

Day 60: Nor Cal, Day 1

Day 61: On snow, off snow

Day 62: Sierra Buttes and Lakes Basin

Day 63: Custom trail magic

Day 64: The climb

Day 65: Bucks, Belden, and beyond

Day 66: One hundred in four

Day 67: Halfway to somewhere

Days 68-70: Triple zero

Day 71: Reunited with the trail

Day 72: 1,000 miles

Day 73: Subway Cave and Hat Rim

Day 74: Angels in Burney

Day 75: Burney Falls

Day 76: A shitty day

Day 77: Wildlife everywhere

Day 78: I reach I-5

Days 79-88: I’m sick

Day 89: Recovered


Day 90: Oregon

Day 91: Thunderstorm

Day 92: I leave the trail. Again.

Day 93: Decision time

Day 94: The high point

Day 95: Unexpected alternate

Day 96: Shelter Cove

Day 97: Mosquito pits

Day 98: Another day, another closure

Day 99: Another day, another decision

Day 100: Three Fingered Jack

Day 101: Road walking

Day 102: I detour again

Day 103: The trail provides

Day 104: Another difficult decision

Day 105: Mount Hood

Day 106: Eclipse

Day 107: The end of Oregon

Day 108: Portland zero


Day 109: Volcanoes and clearcuts

Day 110: In pain

Day 111: Open ground

Day 112: Mount Adams

Day 113: The other Eowyn

Day 114: Goat Rocks

Day 115: White Pass

Day 116: Dreary

Day 117: Snoqualmie Pass

Day 118: Another zero

Day 119: Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Day 120: Luck fails

Day 121: Shadows fail

Day 122: Exhausted at Stevens Pass

Day 123: Twenty-five years later

Day 124: A damp day

Day 125: The Misty Mountains

Day 126: The sun appears

Day 127: The walk around Glacier Peak

Day 128: T-minus 100

Day 129: Stehekin

Day 130: Rainy Pass

Day 131: Harts Pass

Day 132: Canada

Day 133: Return to Harts Pass

Sierra Nevada: Mount Whitney to Donner Summit

Days 134-139: The relay, $1800 diarrhea, and Sierra snow

Day 140: The Sierra’s crest

Day 141: Reunited with the PCT

Day 142: Forester Pass

Day 143: Glen Pass

Day 144: Pinchot and Mather

Day 145: Muir Pass

Day 146: Sapphire to Sallie Keyes

Day 147: Up and over Bear Ridge

Day 148: Spike-worthy snow on Silver Pass

Day 149: Water freezes, snow falls

Day 150: Pipes freeze, I hike on

Day 151: Attempted mutiny

Day 152: A frozen land

Day 153: An infuriating stretch of trail

Day 154: Ups, downs, and log crossings

Day 155: Fear of things not yet seen

Day 156: I lose my way

Day 157: Fear and dread

Day 158: Regret

Day 159: Onward from Ebbetts

Day 160: Carson Pass

Day 161: Desolation Wilderness

Day 162: Granite Chief Wilderness

Day 163: Closing the gap

Days 164-167: Stormy zeroes

Northern California: Castle Crags to Seiad Valley

Day 168: The missing miles

Day 169: I walk the contour

Day 170: A change of plans

Day 171: Discrepancies

Day 172: Through the burn

Day 173: Marble Mountain

Day 174: The unexpected end

Miles completed in 2018

Day 175(+319): South from Ebbetts Pass

Day 176(ish): Rematch

Day 177: Return to Ebbetts

Fire Closure #1: Crater Lake to Hwy 140

Fire Closure #2: Seiad Valley to I-5/Ashland

Fire Closure #3: Elk Lake to McKenzie Pass