Big Bear to Hiker Heaven: PCT Portraits III

So this post is going to be a lot less bitching and whining than the last one.  No, I still haven’t hit my honeymoon phase with the trail, and I’m not sure I will.  It’s not all kittens and rainbows out here.  However, the PCT is a relationship worth working toward.  Inevitably, the relationship will end and I’m sure I’ll be devastated; but for now, the up and downs of the trail, both literally and figuratively, are worth sticking around for.  Everyday, it’s like watching my love story unfold.

In the last two weeks, I had my first 20 mile day and even a 27!  I cowboy camped for the first time, which is so fun because it feels like a slumber party outside.  I even had my first happy cry as I watched the sunset on Baden-Powell; Explosions in the Sky playing in the background, the cotton candy sky slowly going dark and intimate conversations with my two favorite hikers.  We all shared what we were thinking at that moment as we ate our dinner.  As I fiddled with my ramen and tears started falling down my face, I told my two friends, “I realize that all of the stories and memories I will have for the rest of my life, I am living them right now.  And, this is the first time in a very long time that I recognize that I am overwhelmingly happy.”

More tears came down and fell into my ramen -which, the salt helps a lot if you’re out- and my two friends came and sat close to me on both sides and shared this profound moment.  I am so happy they were there because they felt it too, and now I know it was real.

It’s insane that I’m a little over a month in.  The desert is almost over and the beauty and intensity of the Sierras’ awaits me.  I’m slightly nervous, but also excited to see what else I can do with my new found hiking abilities.  I feel confident that I have a great group of trail friends that will be supportive and make the journey worth all the hardship and risk.

And…. picture time.

Sam (Tall Boy or Tool Boy or Too Tall) made a Snickeritto – snickers, peanut butter in a fried tortilla. 

Rachel made us Bananas Foster!

Sam does America. 

Murphy is one of my favorite hikers. She’salways so sweet and always smiling! 

I was very excited for a sausage and egg mcmuffin!

Rhino from South Africa.  She’s hiking to save the rhinos from poaching!  Check out her site:

Hobo and Caddy – Beautiful couple that met on the AT 3 years ago! 

My trail loves: Nirvana and Karma.  Everyone thinks they are brother and sister. 


Bumble bee. 

Eric hanging with Daisy at Hiker Heaven. 

The Cajon Pass McDonald’s crew gave Square Pants a free sundae for his birthday!

Hiker trash at Silverwood Lake. 

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Comments 5

  • David Reynolds : May 27th

    I’m so happy for you! Your pictures are amazing as usual. Please stay as safe as you can on the trail and pick up as many of those happy memories along the way. Don’t worry they won’t weigh you down in fact they’ll lift you up. Miss you!

    David Reynolds

  • Mig Whitt Trail Name YIPPEE. : May 28th

    Love your photography work. You have captured the people alive and free as it should be. Thanks. I am a PCT thru hiker who had to get off trail due to an ankle sprain and a torn tendon. Now I sit on my computer waiting to heal. May not be back on till next year so these pictures are helping me stay connected. YIPPEE.

  • Nicole Sword : Jun 1st

    You brought tears to my eyes! I’m hiking the AT with my husband in 2018 and I get overwhelming emotional just thinking about the experience.

    I must also say that your pictures are absolutely incredible! I envy your ability to capture so much of the free spirit and the dirt that compose a hiker’s experience.

  • Lisa : Jun 1st

    Wow, BEAUTIFUL photos!!! Really captures the spirit of the hike!

  • Carrie : Aug 19th

    Fantastic photos! I apologize in advance for asking the #1 photographer eye rolling question… what kind of camera do you hike with? Asking for a friend. No seriously, I need a hike camera. My Nikon D5100 is too bulky for packing and doesn’t have that vintage look (unless you did that post). I hope to capture the same spirit on the trail as you have!


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