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Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail


Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

“Give me a hug man!” I said to my friend Tommy, “Walkie Talkie,” as we reached Monument 78, the northern terminus and finish line for a northbound Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker. Walkie was only about 20 yards in front of us. My friend Kayla, “8 Track,” was directly in front of me. We checked the maps at the last water source and knew we only had five miles to go. It started pouring with rain, slowing our progress. The three of us were dead quiet. You could hear every drop of rain. An hour and a half goes by – but nothing comes into view. Suddenly, there is a large clearing up ahead. Walkie reaches a switchback, turns, and looks to us with a big Cheshire cat grin, bouncing up and down with his backpack on, waving his hiker poles in the air saying, “I can see it, I can see it!” Kayla didn’t want to believe him because Tommy was known to be a jokester on the trail, but your eyes don’t lie. Tommy took off running, as Kayla sung her way dancing towards the monument, and I was simply in complete shock. I didn’t think it was real: 2,650.10 miles and 180 days and now, it was all over. It was never a vacation. It was never a sojourn, or a journey, trip, excursion, or trek. It was a dream. I had to do it...

In this 2 part series from Issue 40, contributor Sean Jansen takes us along his thru-hike of the PCT from Mexico to Canada. Check out the article at the link below in Issue 40:

The Pacific Crest Trail Part 1

The Pacific Crest Trail Part 2

Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Issue 40 Page 1

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  • 6 months later...

I was on the PCT last week south of Carson Pass.  The only people I met were through hikers.  Most were in a great hurry.  I had a nice chat with a guy waiting for his tourist sister and her friend.   They were from Ohio and Florida.  It was all so new and exciting.  Great to share their enthisiasm. 

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