May 31-Jun 5 “Milestones”

Miles 137
PCT Mile: 702.2

I’ve added desert pictures to this post. 

I’m back after 6 days in the desert! OMG, it really feels good to be resting for the next couple of days. 

So I haven’t had a cell signal or Wifi for a week nor will I have it for another week! It’s frustrating, but ironically liberating. Hopefully, I can get this posted. I’ve been trying for 2 days. This place runs on generators and propane. There’s no infrastructure to speak of. We are spoiled with modern life.

I have decided to summarize these days because they were just hard and hot. We mainly focused on early morning hikes, water carries, afternoon rests, and evening hikes to close out the day. 

The PCTA post signs on the trail:
“We apologize for the next 100 yards of northbound flat trail. The PCTA assures you that a 2,000 foot east/west climb is just around the bend.”  

Just kidding. They don’t post signs but the rest is true. The desert portion of the PCT was more east and west than north. There were times when the body was tired and the seemingly endless east/west direction was frustrating indeed. 

That said, there’s nothing like walking the final 2 miles to Kennedy Meadows knowing that I’d just completed the desert section of the PCT…702 miles behind me. As I walked into the dirt parking lot of Kennedy Meadows general store, the hikers on the deck cheered loudly. I had an ear to ear grin on my face and my heart was full. When I started this trek 45 days ago, I wasn’t sure that I would make it this far. I wasn’t really sure of anything, only that I was going to give it everything I had. 

Here are some key stats:

  • Days without a shower – 7
  • Number of face rinses – 3
  • Max miles in 1 day – 28
  • Total ascent – 26,000 feet (the equivalent of 2 Mt. Whitney ascents)
  • Total descent – 24,000 feet
  • Passed PCT mile: 600
  • Passed PCT mile: 700
  • Largest water carry – 7 Liters 
  • Total water consumed – 70+ lbs. 
  • Earliest morning hike – 2am
  • Most miles by noon – 20
  • Trail Magic Surprises – 3
  • PCT Desert Section – Done! Done! Done!

There were 10 hikers on the same travel bubble through the desert making the trek much easier. Believe me. Doing the desert alone would have really sucked…to say the least. We all drew energy and motivation from each other. This is where social bonds become stronger and stronger. These kids are amazing and being called “Dad” just makes me feel like I have a second family. 

I’m going to post my stay at Kennedy Meadows in a separate blog. There have been some incredible conversations that merit another post. 

Just when I think I’ve done something beyond my abilities, another set of significant challenges are facing me…new ones that require an entirely different set of skills.  I’m apprehensive but also excited. 

May I always properly assess the risk and maintain the courage to stay the course…

Family, I miss you dearly and love you beyond words. 

Kevbo out!

13 thoughts on “May 31-Jun 5 “Milestones”

  1. Gary Aquilina

    Well we are all glad to see you back in the land of technology, albeit 1995.:) It sounds like you were having a bit of a rough time, and you made it through, which proves your strength and perseverance. Keep going Kevin, we are all with you in spirit, and think about you and your travels often. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us, it is inspiring.


  2. Monica Marie

    Aww.. (gulp) you have touched the heart of this Ashlander…. I continue to send you strength and the wisdom to enjoy each spectacular moment which I know you are! You are blessed, and we are thatyyou share your journey with us. So glad I found you.


  3. Dominique

    What an adventure! Stay on course – I look forward to pick you up in Washington. Here a John Muir for you: “Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.” Dom


  4. Kristine Vara

    Kev- Mark and I are following your PCT journey. Your tenacity is deeply admired. Continued prayers for your safety health and wellness. Sending you love and hugs – KV


  5. Larry Hall

    You knew your trek was not a sprint but a marathon. But did you ever think it was 100 times the distance of a marathon? Keep up the good work. Smell the roses. Be careful. Steve says that Salem, or Three Sisters might be the closest points at which to to meet you.
    You are the topic of many interesting conversations here at the apartment. We’re rooting for you!



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