First Two Weeks On Trail

First Two Weeks On Trail

The first couple of weeks have been uneventful, however this does not mean it has been anything less than amazing. We have been finding our hiker’s legs and having a taste of the upcoming challenges. It has also been the making of our trail family, all of who we met at Scout & Frodo’s.

Trail Family & Trail Names


Jules, aka Sesame, was given his name as he has been true to his French culture and has managed not to ditch fine dining on the trail bringing with him many seasonings including a ginger root and a large bag of sesame seeds, which one evening he was even toasting on his camp stove. Charlie and I left the Southern Terminus with Sesame and originally discussed walking separately as his long legs (6ft4) to my short legs (5ft2) meant he can easily leave me in his dust. However, it wasn’t long before we were back together and have camped together every night! There was an instant friendship as Charlie & Sesame realised how much in common they had. Dr Sesame has even threaded a blister on my foot for me, an experience I found very traumatic.

Valkyrie & Gus

Val & Gus (real names Roni & Dustin), another couple, are our only American’s and I’m thankful to have them due to their understanding of American cultures such as tipping culture and their experience on trails as they completed the AT in 2017. After we separated at Scout & Frodo’s I was worried we wouldn’t see them for a while but luckily we caught up with them at Lake Morena on day 2. Val is our organiser and super intelligent, we’re also a big support to each other through our ups and down, which thankfully tend to alternate.

Gus, or Father Gus as I call him, has some years on me and many years in the Marine Corps, which means he is wise and a leader. Also walking without poles he’s like a mountain goat darting up cliffs when the trail has been washed out to find a route for us.


We met Jonnie on our first night at Scout & Frodo’s and where we had an instant connection due to being British. It’s easy when you’ve had lots of similar experiences to even get yourself to the point of starting the PCT. After one night he went to the CLEEF campsite and we didn’t catch him again until day 3. Spud gained his trail name from his purchase of a huge back of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, which took his pack weight up to 18kg (day 20 and he still has some left)!! Brother Spud is unique in his quirky nature and everyone is always excited to hear what his next “theory” is.


We found Rocket (Devan) about two weeks in to our walk in Barrel Springs. I instantly loved her from her badass nature, someone who is definitely motivation for me along the tough parts of the trail. Rocket had been walking solo busting out 20+ mile days and I ended up begging her not to attempt Mount San Jacinto on her own! Initially we thought her name had come from her speed on trail, but actually it stemmed from her snot rocket day 1, however I think both descriptions are suitable!

DC & Snorkel

Charlie is now referred to as DC, which stands for Double Check was given to him by Sesame as he went through a stage on misplacing everything. Sesame was laughing to himself as he realised that I am constantly double checking that he has his belongings.

Snorkel has become my trail name, which took place during my first river crossing. The river was deep enough to come up just above my knees and a man shouted asking if I need a snorkel, joking about my height, or lack of.

Julian – Mile 77

Reaching Julian was my first feeling of a landmark. Our first town and first zero. The town is just as cute as I had imagined and the free pie from Mom’s Bakery was even tastier than I can describe. We felt at home at Julian Beer Co and fell in love with the views surrounding the home we had rented and the kindness that we experienced from the locals.

Paradise Valley Cafe

Yes, I am giving a cafe its own paragraph. On the day we arrived here my feet were really feeling the downhill miles we’d made the past two days, the temperature was higher than I was used to and to be frank, I was over it. We were greeted at the bottom on the hill by trail angel “Magic Man” who had cold cans and camp chairs available, amazing. Then we arrived at PVC, looked after by Cindy and the other fantastic servers who love hikers really made us feel welcome and at home after a tough day. Not only this, but they also allowed us to cowboy camp on their patio and again were the most attentive staff the following morning where we all ordered breakfast burritos and coffee. A simple cafe completed my first fortnight on the trail and I loved it so much.

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