PCT: Day 62

Flowers of the PCT

Miles today: 20.3

Trail miles: 485.8

Elevation: 3067

Spinning on the turntable: The Cranberries: In the End

Yesterday it was raining cats and dogs so I opted to sit it out in the van and not hike. We had a big lunch at a salad buffet and then hung out at Starbucks while charging our assortment of devices.

I had planned on a 12 mile hike yesterday and then a 8 mile hike today followed by nero at our friends house tonight. Instead I opted to jam both days into one day, not because I had to, but more to see if I could.

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook Jun 1

I started the morning at the roadside on the left and hit the first summit of the day about two hours later. I passed many hikers that were emerging from very wet tents. Some were spreading their tents, rain fly, sleeping bags and assorted items out to dry. I felt a little better about the decision to not hike yesterday.


Rolling hills

I listened to the final Cranberries album on the first part of the hike this morning. I loved the Cranberries in the 90’s. I had just gotten rid of my “Wake up and smell the coffee” coffee cup when Delores died last January. Overall it was a pretty mellow album. I’m glad for the music that she gave us.

Flowers of the PCT

Lots of shrubs

I really enjoyed looking at the shrubs, bushes and plant life across the valley. I’m not sure when the fire came through here, but most of these plants were less than a few feet tall. The mixture of colors was splendid!

Knowing that I wanted higher miles today I actively worked to keep my pace higher than most days. In the morning I averaged 3.25mph over 13 miles.

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook hill climb

I pushed to arrive at the fabled wooden bridge for the morning break.

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook wood bridge

I was underwhelmed. I pushed on to find somewhere else for my morning break. How this dilapidated bundle of sticks warrants a special Guthook icon and Vasquez rocks has no mention is crazy.


Actual wood bridge

After lunch I had about a 1000 ft elevation gain over roughly two miles followed by five miles of easy downhill.

Flowers of the PCT

Poodle dog bush

More Poodle dog bush to avoid today. I stuck with my long pants over my shorts. I really enjoyed a narrow ledge with Poodle dog bush against the rock face and a twenty foot drop on the opposite side. No choice except to move through cautiously.

PCT sign post

Shovel sign

Later in the after I was passed by a hiker that I’ve nicknamed the Colonel and his band of Private’s. I’ve seen them several times this past week. The Colonel, walking in the lead, seems to set the pace. He’s hiking in a half walk and half trot. The Private’s, four or five in troop size, walk and/or trot behind him. To me they look like baby ducks, minus the cuteness, following their momma. Everyone looks so pained that I just want to laugh. Relax! Have a home brew!

Wrapped up the day with Noelle who had hiked two miles up trail to walk back with me.


  1. Gregory Fast

    Enjoying your adventure greatly!

    • mcgarveysan

      We’re enjoying your trip too! I suspect that your food is way better than ours…

  2. Anne Estoppey

    Hello, I just found your blog (from the Pacific Crest Trailside Reader mailing list). IMO the solution with the van is absolutely the best. I am interested to follow you, because I could also envision a solution like this with my bf, he hikes like a madman, while I am much better with a van and day hikes.

    Ok if Noelle wishes tips for visiting stuff in CA, I do have some, I did several road trips in CA, and went a bit off the ‘main touristy things’, although one could probably say that the whole CA is a visitor magnet ;-)))

    Thanks for sharing your adventures, have a great hike, please update us also about the ‘side’ van life, and how the two combines :-))

    Cheers from West Coast of Norway,

    • mcgarveysan

      Hi Anne,
      I’d love touristy recommendations! There are definitely days (like today) where I can’t drive to where Steve is, so instead I’ll meet up with him tomorrow.
      So far the van seems to be a good thing for us but it’s not a perfect solution. I’ve really enjoyed the day hikes. And I’m glad that we still get to be out here. I miss being actually on the trail, but I don’t miss the shoulder pain! Haha.
      Glad you found us. West Coast of Norway! Now we know who to look up should we ever find ourselves over there!
      💕 Noelle

  3. shastadoug

    Hi guys, great job!

    Tech question; How do you get your “photo” On the Guthook elevation screen?

    I assume the screen shot is just a capture Paste?

    Thanks, Doug

    Sent from my IPhone


    • mcgarveysan

      I do a screen shot of my phone which automatically saves the images into my photo album. I import the captured image directly into the document.

  4. VFAt

    How did you feel after just over 20 miles? Like it was no big deal, and not particularly tired? Or did you feel whacked?

    • mcgarveysan

      My left calf was super sore a few hours after I finished hiking for the day and I was hobbling. The next day was just the usual stiff/sore. Overall, I felt fine. 25 miles seems quite doable.


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