Smiley

Greetings! My name is Christopher Smiley. I am a twenty-year, retired veteran of the United States Air Force, MBA graduate from the University of Arizona, and survivor of stage IV head and neck cancer. I currently reside in beautiful Bend, Oregon, although I could be considered a nomad - having lived in a dozen states and multiple countries as both a military brat and service member. I spend my time cooking for family and friends, while daydreaming of my next big outdoor adventure. I will be living out my dream of hiking the PCT on the 8th of March, 2024. I have dreamt of hiking this trail since falling in love with backpacking as a young teen in Southern California. Some 30 plus years later... my time has come. I hope to see you on trail, or hear from you soon. One step at a time! - Smiley

Posts

Days 34 – 37: Miles 424.3 – 341.9 (Wrightwood)

Days 34 – 37: Miles 424.3 – 341.9 (Wrightwood)

It is amazing to me how hikers will find a million different routes to take for the same stretch of trail. Between highways, forest service access

Apr 16, 2024 : Smiley
Days 31 – 33: Miles 444.3 – 424.3 (San Gabriel Mountains)

Days 31 – 33: Miles 444.3 – 424.3 (San Gabriel Mountains)

The term “Thru-Hiker” is a loose term surrounded by controversy among the hiker community. You might hear a different definition depending on the

Apr 10, 2024 : Smiley
Days 29 & 30: Miles 317.9 – 341.9 (Cajon Pass)

Days 29 & 30: Miles 317.9 – 341.9 (Cajon Pass)

Backpacking in the rain takes a lot of careful planning and forethought. One must always be thinking about plans to either stay dry or get dry, and

Apr 5, 2024 : Smiley
Days 27 & 28: Miles 298.5 – 317.9 (San Bernardino National Forest)

Days 27 & 28: Miles 298.5 – 317.9 (San Bernardino National Forest)

Our favorite trail angel, Melody, picked us up from our hotel in Redlands. Our plan was to re-enter the PCT at mile marker 250.3 before Big Bear.

Apr 4, 2024 : Smiley
Days 24 – 26: Miles 225.5 – 298.5 (To Be Continued…)

Days 24 – 26: Miles 225.5 – 298.5 (To Be Continued…)

I’ve been watching PCT hikers on YouTube and other social media outlets for years. There seems to be a recurring theme every year and every year is

Apr 2, 2024 : Smiley
Days 22 & 23: Miles 209.6 – 225.5 (Mission Creek aka Mission Abort)

Days 22 & 23: Miles 209.6 – 225.5 (Mission Creek aka Mission Abort)

MISSION ABORT!! MISSION ABORT!! If you are a hiker and you are contemplating entering Section “C” going NOBO towards Mission Creek, please

Mar 28, 2024 : Smiley
Days 20 & 21: Miles 178.0 – 209.6 (Palm Springs)

Days 20 & 21: Miles 178.0 – 209.6 (Palm Springs)

Chaffing is a real problem in the world of hiking. No matter how well you prepare yourself, chaffing is likely to happen sooner or later.

Mar 27, 2024 : Smiley
Days 16 – 19: 140.3 – 178.0 (Idyllwild)

Days 16 – 19: 140.3 – 178.0 (Idyllwild)

Mornings are great for hiking. The weather in the morning is cool so getting too hot isn’t usually a problem. Also, my legs are well rested, making

Mar 24, 2024 : Smiley
Mike’s Place – Ghost Town or Community Relic

Mike’s Place – Ghost Town or Community Relic

I felt like I had just walked onto the movie set of a Rob Zombie horror film. There was random junk scattered everywhere; a mixture of antiques and

Mar 23, 2024 : Smiley
Days 14 & 15: Miles 114.8 – 140.3 (Anza, CA)

Days 14 & 15: Miles 114.8 – 140.3 (Anza, CA)

It’s hard to believe I have been on trail for two weeks already. So much has happened… so much has changed. In only two weeks' time, I have entered

Mar 20, 2024 : Smiley