Pacific Crest Trail (NOBO) Part 1/10?

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
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1,342
OOOOOKAY, so it has almost been 1 year since I touched the Northern Terminus (09.20.2021). I finally have internet aaaand my Sawtooth backpacking trip/job hunting has been delayed due to someone backing into my car. I have officially been carless for 12 days and have not left home for 8 days. My cup runneth over with time.

I could babble a novel for each section, but I am going to do my best to just keep it to pictures and captions. I have just under 5,000 photos that I would LOVE to share, but I am going to do my best to keep each TR to ~50 or less. I could talk about the PCT for the rest of my life, so feel free to comment or message me any questions.

Using my Instagram files because even though my cup runneth, I still don't have the patience to upload full files. Apologies for less sharpness and less loveliness.

I think I am assuming that everyone here knows what the PCT is, but I shouldn’t. From PCTA website: “The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.”

I would hike at least 2,740.8 miles to make it to the end.

This trip report:
Days: 1-20
Miles: 1 - 208.5
Zero Days (hiked 0 miles): 1

First thru hike, required a gear photo with Miya flare! Ghibli style!

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March 20, 2021 - Mom and I headed down to the Southern Terminus. I was a little excited.

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Holy crap…finally here. I had been obsessing about ONE moment for the last 5 years. I daydreamed about it while driving, at work, when hiking or camping. I fell asleep and woke up thinking about it. I even had fantastical dreams about it! TOUCH THE NORTHERN TERMINUS (after having walked from the Southern one). I chose 03/21 as my start date in honor of my grandpa's birthday, he was like a father to me. Turns out his birthday was 03/20, so that bummed me out when I visited his grave a couple days before my start date, I am sure he would have had a good laugh over it though, as it is typical of me to do something like that.

Mom and I forgot to take a selfie at the terminus and that still makes me sad.

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It was 28 degrees when I started, so I quickly put on some socks!

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First trail magic was only 20 miles in. I didn't feel like I needed it yet, so I took only 1 sour strip. I would continue to avoid most trail magic throughout the entirety of the trail. Although, I really didn't run into much of it like a lot of other hikers did.

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Yucca Plant.

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Day 1 and the desert is so dang pretty!

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I think they used a cutesy font so you don't focus on the fact that you still have 2,640 miles left (not including miles to get water or get to town).

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Day 3 was 13 miles of beautiful rain into Mt. Laguna (I had hoped for a rainy and snowy PCT year). There were no vacancies, but I managed to charm a gruff elderly man into letting me rent a 4 person cabin that they were not supposed to rent out because of new COVID rules. The cabin was pretty shabby and the power went out for most of the night, so I might have been better off just tent camping, but I managed to get in a hot shower and charge my items before they turned off the power. It ended up snowing all that night, so the cold of the cabin woke me up early and got me on my way.

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Wet sandals would make some bloody feet. They would toughen up though.

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Ahhhh clean.

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Leaving Mt. Laguna. Only day 4 and the descent from Mt Laguna would wreck my left knee. I cried as I walked and struggled to figure out what I would do. There was NO WAY I was quitting or leaving.

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I managed to hobble to a viewpoint where other hikers were also breaking. The famous/infamous (depending on who you talk to) trail angel, Legend, showed up and was offering rides into Julian. I hesitated. I didn't want to ask for help so early! I didn't want to get off trail! I also didn't want to go to Julian since I knew there would be a lot of thru hikers there. I begrudgingly accepted his help and made it 2 Foot Adventures. The knee brace she recommended saved my entire thru hike. I have since purchased the same brace 3 times and it is something I now always carry with me on any hike. Before I left the store and made my way back to trail, I met an Instagram friend who was also hiking the PCT (for the 2nd time) and who I would end up hiking 95% of the trail with and who is currently my boyfriend.

When I made it back to trail that night, around mile 50, I only hiked a couple miles and figured I would just wait out the wind storm and let my knee rest. I was worried and disappointed, but happy I had at least made it back to the trail same day.

Yes, I started with some Ghibli toys. I would eventually send them home because they were getting destroyed, even in their bubble wrap! The "Finish what you started, Human" would stay with me the entirety of the trail.

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The next couple days would provide wind storms of 50-70mph which LITERALLY knocked me down. There was light snow, light rain and I couldn't have been happier. I found out early on that most hikers were fair weather hikers and any inclement weather would leave the trail empty and allow me to enjoy the solitude.

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This would be my Tramily, Tom Sawyer and NightRyder from mile 83.0 - 1,317.

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Some lovely foot photos for you to enjoy.

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100 miles down!

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Eagle Rock actually looks like a bird! My first cowboy camping experience would be right in the crook of it's right wing.

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There was only 3-5 pretty sunsets during my thru hike, that I can recall or witnessed. This was one of them.

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Turns out that NightRyder hates snow. I love it and annoyed other thru hikers every time I saw it.

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It was pretty interesting to me how much other thru hikers craved burgers and beer. All I ever craved was asian food. I think you just crave what you love in your normal life and in my normal life I love sushi and pho. Any time I was in a town with Japanese or Vietnamese, I was alllll over it. My tramily would go and find diners for burgers/BLTs and fries.

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Burn areas were so pretty, but you sure would get dirty. The day before this picture was an entire day of knee to hip deep snow. I was wet and cold and slept with Hot Hands to try and get warm. The next day was high temps and a long water carry. The drastic change had me in awe!

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I left my camera at this mile marker, and did not realize it until 2 miles of steep descent. The climb back was infuriating, especially since the camera was DIRECTLY above me. Just so many switchbacks away. We had been rationing water since the night before. The temperature was low 90s, I had a quarter of a liter left and the next water source was 5 miles away, so the additional 4 miles were not wanted. I didn't have many water scares during this thru hike, but this was one of them.

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We were really happy to be done with this section and headed into town.

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The end of Part 1.
 
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TractorDoc

Member
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Aug 21, 2018
Messages
333
I've been hoping you'd be posting details of your thru-hike adventure!

The first installment does not disappoint and I'm sure all of BCP will be looking forward to more.

Beautiful macros -- I'm glad you made the effort to retrieve your lens so you can keep the images coming. Even the ones with ravaged feet. :)
 

Bob

Trailmaster
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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,345
I dont see much food in that first pic?
 

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,342
I'm glad you made the effort to retrieve your lens so you can keep the images coming.

Oh yeah, there was no way I was leaving my new camera behind! Especially so early on when there was so much more to see! I think there was one other instance where I had to go back for it...maybe. It might have been something else. As I write these and review my daily journal entries, I am sure I will come across it
 

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
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I dont see much food in that first pic?
Haha the gear photo did not include food, but I would take a photo of all my food resupplies after mile 300.

This was the food I started with, not that you can see all that is in there haha I would start laying it out much more neatly for photos.

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scatman

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2,710
Marvelous! Just marvelous!

I've always had the greatest admiration for those who complete the long distant trails. Kudos to you.

Your pictures are all wonderful. I particularly like your gear shot. It reminds me of something that I just can't put my finger on. :D Foot shots are always good too. As for your food shot, that wouldn't last me one day! ;)

So what is it like using the umbrella?

A quarter of a water bottle for five miles, plus having to go back to retrieve your camera! I'd be belly up like the lizard in your photo. :)

Well, congratulations on your accomplishment, and I am looking forward to the next installment of your journey.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,342
Wow - I love your photos, nature both close-up and off in the distance. So many great flower shots, and I love the reptiles!

There were sooooooo many flowers (except the Sierras). I have identified quite a few, but one of these days I want to log them all. The Horny Toed Lizards are just the cutest thing! I really want to get one to grow to the size of a dog and have a little dinosaur pet haha
 

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,342
Marvelous! Just marvelous!

I've always had the greatest admiration for those who complete the long distant trails. Kudos to you.

Your pictures are all wonderful. I particularly like your gear shot. It reminds me of something that I just can't put my finger on. :D Foot shots are always good too. As for your food shot, that wouldn't last me one day! ;)

So what is it like using the umbrella?

A quarter of a water bottle for five miles, plus having to go back to retrieve your camera! I'd be belly up like the lizard in your photo. :)

Well, congratulations on your accomplishment, and I am looking forward to the next installment of your journey.

I just can't wait to do another one someday. Every backpacking trip before the PCT, I always felt like there was something missing or it wasn't quite right, not enough. Now I know, it is because I prefer thru hiking. I can't really pinpoint the difference, but there definitely is one!

I will start adding my food shots! It was a running joke on trail that I was an alien because I didn't eat much and I barely drank any water. Near the end I had lost almost 30 lbs and my muscles were starting to atrophy. I just couldn't force myself to eat much.

Even though I didn't use the umbrella THAT much, it was a necessary item for me in the beginning. I really struggle being in the sun and it helped me get acclimated to the heat and exposure. It can definitely be annoying strapped to your pack, especially when it is windy, but I made it work and was glad I started with it.
 

Janice

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There were sooooooo many flowers (except the Sierras). I have identified quite a few, but one of these days I want to log them all. The Horny Toed Lizards are just the cutest thing! I really want to get one to grow to the size of a dog and have a little dinosaur pet haha
I'm fascinated that the horned lizards squirt blood. I've never seen it happen (except in videos) and would love to, as long as it's not aimed at me!
 

chandlerwest

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Feb 7, 2015
Messages
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I have always appreciated how you notice the little things amongst the grand! Now you are on this grand thru hike and still stopping to notice what is at your feet!!
 
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Miya

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I'm fascinated that the horned lizards squirt blood. I've never seen it happen (except in videos) and would love to, as long as it's not aimed at me!
WOW!!! I DID NOT KNOW THAT! NOW I MUST SEE IT TOO Haha
 

Miya

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I have always appreciated how you notice the little things amongst the grand! Now you are on this grand thru hike and still stopping to notice what is at your feet!!
Haha Probably because I pretty much stare at my feet the entire time I hike :)
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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just awesome!! I admire everyone who backpacks for days and weeks.
I don't like it at all.
I hate carrying a lot of stuff and food for several days because it does not leave space for several camera lenses and tripods.
I never backpack longer than 2-3 nights and am the happiest just doing overnight trips which I often do.

I can't even imagine hiking a single mile in sandals. Just looking at you hurts my knees and feet.
I love all your images. So much diversity on that trail, wow
 

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,342
just awesome!! I admire everyone who backpacks for days and weeks.
I don't like it at all.
I hate carrying a lot of stuff and food for several days because it does not leave space for several camera lenses and tripods.
I never backpack longer than 2-3 nights and am the happiest just doing overnight trips which I often do.

I can't even imagine hiking a single mile in sandals. Just looking at you hurts my knees and feet.
I love all your images. So much diversity on that trail, wow
Yeah, there is such a difference between backpacking and thru hiking! There are people that hated it and left and more power to them! It definitely isn't for everyone and I understand why haha

I would hike about 700 miles in my sandals, which I prefer, but it just got too annoying carrying 2 pairs of shoes and I would send them home eventually. I still do most all my day hiking and backpacking in sandals though :)
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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Jan 19, 2012
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Yeah, there is such a difference between backpacking and thru hiking! There are people that hated it and left and more power to them! It definitely isn't for everyone and I understand why haha

I would hike about 700 miles in my sandals, which I prefer, but it just got too annoying carrying 2 pairs of shoes and I would send them home eventually. I still do most all my day hiking and backpacking in sandals though :)
I know I'm definitely not the person to do that and who wouldn't enjoy it at all.
I admire you and others who can do it, which is totally amazing.
 

b.stark

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Awesome, been waiting to see these reports show up here! What an epic journey.
 

wsp_scott

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Nice start to a trip report, thanks for sharing

From the photos, I am guessing you had a nice camera. What did you end up with? Multiple lenses?
 
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