PCT: Van life

Noelle here:

Well the nice thing about the van is that I can stay inside when the weather is cold and rainy. 😏 Steve’s has some crazy rain-filled days.

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

Steve in the rain

I saw this group of hikers one afternoon, so darn cold out!

GOT tents

I’ve almost finished my third book this week! I’ve cooked some decent dinners, almost like home and I’ve met a lot of hikers! 😁

I took the van to a dump station and emptied the black and grey water.

Van generator testing

I also took the van to get the generator checked out.

Tracy from Affordable RV Repair in Lancaster was awesome and jumped right to it! He first told me he has no availability till June to actually work on it but after we talked (& he realized it’s my home!) he said to call on Tuesday after the holiday. I hope he’s able to do a quick repair to it.

I’ve done a couple day hikes and it’s super fun to come around a bend and see Steve hiking towards me!

I spent an afternoon at Vasquez Rocks. What a beautiful place. I talked with horse riders who’ve covered most of the Southern California PCT by horseback.

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks

I watched a film crew for a while. The RV below was for their snacks.

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

Watching the film crew

and I saw this crazy car getting a photo shoot:

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

Stunt car at Vasquez Rocks

I climbed up some rocks, because what else are they for? I went to around the black arrow, but you’ll have to take my word for it, since I didn’t have my own photographer following me! 😂

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

I climbed up there!

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

The Campervan!

When I sat at a certain level of these rocks behind my van, I could get one bar of cell service. So I read all your comments over the past week. The blog is about a week behind “real life”, it’s the only way we can send out posts without relying on often non-existing service.

So I sat on some rocks and cried and smiled and beamed and overall felt thankful for the support of our family and friends and of some new, unmet friends (okay technically strangers, but you’re so kind!). Your affirming words and encouragement are more appreciated than I can tell you. 🥰

PCT to Vasquez Rocks

Steve resting for a minute

Right now we’re sitting in the parking lot of a Souplantation (Sweet Tomatoes, for us in the PNW). We have reception so we’re just hanging out for a bit. It’s another day of pouring down rain, so Steve decided to hang out with me and stay dry for a change!

I’m glad for his company!


  1. Cobrahaha

    Your van needs Cobra insurance.

    Please call us for a free quote

  2. Deb

    Noelle, I’m sure the decision to leave the trail was very difficult but you’ve come up with a wonderful solution! Being able to follow Steve and hike when you can is a great compromise. You’re still able to experience this journey with Steve and I’m sure he appreciates the ability to stay connected as he continues on. I’m glad your posting your adventures as well. You’ve brought to light an alternative way to experience the PCT. I think your new trail name should be “Lemonade”…when life hands you lemons…..🍋🍹

    • mcgarveysan

      Hi Deb,
      I love the name! I’m going to try it out!
      The decision was heart wrenching. We both cried like babies for a few days.
      It’s very different now but seems to be working so far. We’ll see how it goes. 🤷🏻‍♀️
      A lot of hikers I meet want to trade places for a few days. I’ll probably get up the courage to do that at some point!
      Thanks for following our journey!

  3. cindy christiano

    Steve and Noelle,
    Since I saw you in December, I have left/retired from Hartford, so I have time to read your wonderful posts. Good for you Noelle to hang in there and especially to Steve, hiking alone. enjoy1
    Cindy (friend of thunder in Denver)

    • mcgarveysan

      Hi Cindy,
      It’s good to hear from you! Congratulations on your retirement. We know you were looking forward to it.
      We hope to see you again when we’re back in the Denver area-maybe October or November.
      Big hugs!

  4. VFat

    Every day I get up, make tea for Kimberley and I, and sit down to read your adventure blog.

    This morning I had to look again at the header picture, as my first thought was “Yep, I heard there were a lot of people waiting at KM, but I didn’t think there was snow there”. I was surprised at the animal-skin tents, though.

    Good for both of you!

    • mcgarveysan

      🤣🤣🤣 one of my life mottos is “amuse yourself first”. Throwing in that picture made me laugh so hard! Noelle


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