Mexico to Canada | 2017
PACIFIC CREST TRAIL
In 2017 I packed up my life in Denver and flew to San Diego to begin hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It was not only my first long distance hike, but my first multi-day backpacking trip. 2017 got the reputation of being "the year of fire and ice". The Sierra saw more snow than its seen since the 90's, and it took its time melting. I completed the first 700 miles - better known as The Desert, with my friend Courtney from college. We had also formed a group with several others - Ballflap, Buzz, Gilligan, and Chocolate Balls. Once we hit Lone Pine at the end of May (the gateway to where things were really going down in the Sierra), Courtney chose to return to Mammoth Lakes - she competitively rides mountain bikes and the adrenaline of walking slow every day could not compare. With no guarantee that I could keep up with the boys in the heavy snow miles, no desire to end up at a river crossing alone, and not a whole lot of other hikers entering the Sierra, as it was still considered "early," I chose to flip north to Belden, CA. This was the hardest decision I had to make during the entire hike, but I feel that I made the right one. In Northern California the 5 of us - myself and the boys, began to stick together more tightly, and due to early arrival north, sometimes went town to town without a break from the snow. Once we hit Etna, CA, we saw the first of the fires. The forest fires ended up closing a total of ___ trail miles in 2017, but because of our early departure from the Sierra, we were able to get through and stay just ahead of them, only missing 50 miles of fire closures from Big Lake Youth Camp to Olallie Lake. We started the trail on April 3rd, 2017, and reached Manning Park, Canada, on September 11th.
In 2018, I planned to return to the Sierra and make up my missed miles. I saved all of my PTO from work to take three weeks off to hike in August, only for a large stretch of my missed section to be closed by forest fires two days before my flight to California. After months of not taking days off work, waiting, and counting down days, the inability to actually go finish my missed section was a hard pill to swallow. At this point, I still plan to return to the Sierra and finish what I started, but I think I'll wait for a time that falls into place rather than planning so far in advance.
PCT Class Video
After returning from the PCT I had the privilege of creating 2017's "Class Video" which combined photos and videos submitted from hikers into an hour long movie. The Class Video premiered at Adventure 16 in San Diego in April, 2018. This has been one of my favorite video projects to work on.