Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Long Journey Begins - The Pacific Crest Trail Section 1

In 2011, I had the special opportunity to hike the John Muir Trail.  After completing, it I wondered what was next.   The obvious choice was the Pacific Crest Trail.  I had heard of the trail in early 90's and thought, if I ever thru-hiked a long trail this would be it.  20 years passed and I realized, I have a wife and two kids, thru-hiking was not in my cards, but section hiking the Pacific Crest trail could be.   

So in 2014, I laced up my shoes and found my hiking partner, Old Yeller and embarked on the multi-year quest to hike the 2663 mile Pacific Crest Trail.   The PCT has was declared a trail in 1968 and completed in 1993.   It may be less famous than its older cousin, the Appalachian trail, but I am convinced, it would be much more beautiful.   So the journey begins to find out.

Year 1 - Campo to Paradise Valley Cafe

The obelisk at the US-Mexico border outside Campo.

Old Yeller crossing the great iron rails of the south.

Old Yeller heading north around mile 5 with 6 liters of water on his back.

Early desert flora overlooking a southern ranch.

Trekking near Hauser Mountain.

Near the border, we were constantly reminded of the economic struggles our southern neighbors are going through.  Whether it was the border guards watching for tracks, the helicopters overhead all night or the signs warning them of imminent death.

The colorful trees along a southern waterway.

Prickly pear cactus buds awaiting a local to pick them and make some pie.

After enduring 15 miles of 30 mph winds with gust over 50, sideways sleet and ice cold rain, we were relieved to hike down to Scissors Water Crossing and catch a ride to Julian for a warm night.   

Bi-Poler, seeking to redeem himself from his 2013 attempted thru-hike, heads towards the San Felipe Hills.

An ice cold morning had me, Ultra wearing all my gear for the first hour.

Old Yeller crossing the San Jose del Valle.

Three boulders tossed among the open grasses of a long meadow before Warner Springs.

Somewhere near eagle rock on the Pacific Crest Trail.

A lone tree guards the trail amongst spring color.

A welcome sight, trees and shade guarding the Canada Verde path into Warner Springs.

A dream come true, crystal clear waters of Agua Caliente Creek.   

Purple flowers in Lost Valley.

Lost Valley boulders in the later afternoon light.

Views of Mount San Jacinto in the late afternoon light.  

Descending towards Anza, the views continue to improve.

Year one ends as we arrive at the fire-closed San Jacinto trailhead and we head to the Paradise Valley Cafe to celebrate.  152 miles completed.

Enjoy and go out and explore your world!!!

-Old Yeller and Ultra


  1. Would love to have the photos enlarged a bit so I can really enjoy them.

    1. Jansjaunts,

      Sorry for the small size. Are you using a tablet? I noticed they show up small there, but on a computer, they have decent resolution and size.