Rain

Backpacking was definitely not love-at-first-step for me. With a pack that was way too heavy for my short body, a fear of heights and stream crossings, and no innate sense of direction, I struggled a lot on my first few trips. But a decade into my backpacking adventures, I also know that backpacking is one of the few places I feel truly at ease with myself. I've spent years backpacking through the Sierra, a month on the Colorado Trail, and 3 months meandering around the South Island of New Zealand. This year, I'm quitting my job as a human rights advocate to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I'm hoping to approach each day with something like gratitude. Connect with me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/big_rain_little_thunder/

Posts

Going Solo: Agua Dulce to Tehachapi on the PCT

Going Solo: Agua Dulce to Tehachapi on the PCT

Miles 454.5 to 566.4 It felt like starting the PCT for the first time: Granite said goodbye to me at an Airbnb in Santa Clarita and I took

May 25, 2022 : Rain
Night hiking, rattlesnakes, and heat: Wrightwood to Agua Dulce on the PCT

Night hiking, rattlesnakes, and heat: Wrightwood to Agua Dulce on the PCT

Miles 363.4 to 464.5 This section officially marks my longest backpacking trip ever. When I spent 4 weeks on the Colorado Trail, I had to quit

May 18, 2022 : Rain
Big Bear to Wrightwood on the PCT (Mile 266 to 369)

Big Bear to Wrightwood on the PCT (Mile 266 to 369)

I leave Big Bear feeling anxious. I’m worried about whether I can manage bigger mileage days and whether the upcoming terrain - longer water

May 11, 2022 : Rain
Idyllwild to Big Bear on the PCT (Mile 178 to 266)

Idyllwild to Big Bear on the PCT (Mile 178 to 266)

Starting on the PCT, I imagined I’d have many hours for thoughtful self reflection and meditation. But truthfully, the days are somewhat packed with

May 11, 2022 : Rain
Apache Peak and Beyond

Apache Peak and Beyond

Paradise Valley Cafe (151) to Saddle Junction (179) After the Storm A kind-hearted trail angel returned us to the trail near Paradise Valley

Apr 25, 2022 : Rain
Julian to Paradise Valley Cafe

Julian to Paradise Valley Cafe

Mile 77- 151: Easy terrain, amazing plants, and cool mornings We are thankful to get a lift out of Julian back to Scissors Crossing at 5 AM,

Apr 25, 2022 : Rain
The Border to Julian: My First Week on the PCT

The Border to Julian: My First Week on the PCT

Day 1: 15 hot miles to Hauser Creek. A friend drives us from San Diego to the Mexican border, though the last quarter mile is so rugged that

Apr 16, 2022 : Rain
My PCT Gear List 2022 – with Ratings

My PCT Gear List 2022 – with Ratings

Here it is in all its glory: my starting gear list for the PCT. But before you read it, I want to offer an important caveat: I didn’t buy

Apr 7, 2022 : Rain
My 25 Goals for the PCT That Aren’t About Reaching Canada

My 25 Goals for the PCT That Aren’t About Reaching Canada

I can be a little single-minded. It’s a trait that has served me well in much of my life, but also has some major downsides. When I’m focused on some

Apr 4, 2022 : Rain
Windstorms and Wild Horses: Death Valley’s Marble Canyon Loop Trail Might Be the Perfect PCT Training Hike

Windstorms and Wild Horses: Death Valley’s Marble Canyon Loop Trail Might Be the Perfect PCT Training Hike

Starting a backpacking trip in a windstorm is so demoralizing. Just trying to organize our packs at the car is frustrating, with the gale-force gusts

Mar 17, 2022 : Rain