Accept the Unexpected…

Kennedy Meadows

We reached Kennedy Meadows South and stayed at the Grumpy Bears Retreat. Grumpy Bears is another place that I would highly recommend all hikers stay. The owners were phenomenal and welcoming, and the entire place was very hiker-friendly. They offered everything a hiker could need or want (great food, resupply packages, showers, laundry, and more). 

PS: For any vegan PCT hikers, the Vegan Breakfast Burrito is a 10/10 in my books. They accommodated my dietary restriction and made it gluten-free as well. They also make homemade vegan chili, which is super tasty.








Triple Crown Outfitters

While in Kennedy Meadows, we also took time to visit Yogi at Triple Crown Outfitter. Yogi and her staff were so helpful and knowledgeable. They have all the basics needed for resupply and gear that hikers may need to replace or need as they enter the Sierras. Yogi also put together many guides and maps that are extremely helpful for hikers. 

Lone Pine- Elevation Sierra Adventure

We knew we would need additional gear to enter the Sierras early in the season. We went to Lone Pine from Kennedy Meadows and picked up gear at Elevation Sierra Adventure. John, the owner, helped answer our questions and gave us great advice/input on gear choices. We picked up mountaineering boots, crampons, and other gear to help us stay warm. 

Back to Bayden Powell

A few weeks back, when we were in Wrightwood, we chose to skip Mount Baden Powell due to snow and input from hikers who had attempted that section. With our new gear, we decided to take about a week to complete the miles from Wrightwood to Acton that we had skipped.

We were blessed with an amazing trail angel who drove us from Kennedy Meadows to Wrightwood and then at the end of the section from Acton back to Kennedy Meadows. It was a huge ask of a trail angel and he was more than willing to help the group!

The trail around Mount Baden Powell was still covered in snow, but we were able to hike to the peak. The switchbacks were almost non-existent and the previous footprints traversed straight up the mountain side. The 8 miles to the peak were extremely difficult, but the view from the top was extraordinary and rewarding! The short section around Baden Powell covered in snow allowed us to try our snow gear. The only downfall was carrying all the snow gear for the four days after Baden Powell in the desert! It’s a funny experience to carry crampons, mountaineering boots, and an ice ax in the desert when it’s 70 degrees and sunny!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

There are always so many discussions about the Sierras among hikers. We knew with an early permit date that we would arrive at Kennedy Meadows early in the season. An awesome hiker I was with from Aqua Dulce to Tehachapi reminded our group to “hike your own hike.” I know my limits, comfort level with snow and elevation, and strength/weakness as a thru-hiker. After much reflection and careful consideration, I decided to skip the Sierra Section of the PCT for NOW and jump up to Northern California! Keywords “for now”! I fully understood that I would still be running into snow in this section because of this area’s late snow. I also understood that I may adjust my plans again as we move forward in Northern California. 

This decision required me to take time off the trail to sort out the logistics (where to get back on, gear changes, adjusting my resupply food boxes, etc.). 

The group I had been with chose to move forward into the Sierras from Kennedy Meadows. I know they will be successful, and we will meet further up the trail!

Change! Oregon Coast Trail 

Flexibility is a key word for the journey on the PCT. After only 2.5 days in Northern California, we had to change plans again due to snow. The conditions in Northern California were extremely unsafe, and we heard reports from other hikers and locals about horrible trail conditions. There is a difference between hiking and mountaineering. 

It was most important to me that I was able to continue hiking (it doesn’t matter where) and enjoy the time I have while being safe. I acknowledge daily that this is an experience most people will never have, and I am grateful for that. 

A group of us decided to jump over to the Oregon Coast Trail and hike that for the month of May. It’s been a lot of random travel days by city bus, greyhound, and train but we have been back on trail for a few days now! This is a obviously a completely separate trail from the PCT but I am ok with that! Each day I am able to hike, see amazing sights, be with great people and enjoy this journey.

Once we complete this hike we will see where we can each jump back onto the PCT.


I always try to connect what I am learning on the trail to real life. Many times in life, we believe there is a certain order or sequence in which things should happen based on the status quo or expectations others place on us. I wonder how life would be if we looked at decisions through the lens of self-awareness, confidence in oneself, trust in the process/journey, and a massive dose of gratitude! 

After a few days of being off trail, I was going stir-crazy and ready to be back on the trail. On to Norcal!! 


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Comments 1

  • Brent : May 13th

    Hey Erik!
    I met you on the trail up on the Hat Creek Rim in NorCal. I found you here on The Trek when I was reading another article. I subscribed to your posts so I’ll be following along now. Have a great time in Oregon!


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