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2600+ Selfies: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail From The Mexican Border North

March 26, 2015

“Hold still, there’s a tick on your cheek!”

That was my greeting the first morning backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada: April 22, 1985.

Getting water from the gutter of the interstate, climbing Mt Whitney a few weeks later, hiking 12 miles on a cough drop and half a bar, wrestling food from a bear in Yosemite, crossing blue-white glacial streams in Oregon, hiding from rain in pit toilets in Oregon and rest areas in Washington: these memories from completing all 2800 miles of the PCT are etched permanently into my synapses to make it an adventure that informs every day of my life.

Can you imagine what it is like to backpack over 2600 miles from one end of the United States to the other?

No, honestly –you can’t. Even if you’ve been backpacking, unless you’ve done the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail or the AT or similar long distance hike you really can’t imagine what it’s like–it’s not really backpacking.


Many have tried. I tried. I did it. What we can offer you is a tantalizing hint.

Some of us can offer more.. I hope so. In the coming weeks, I will do a 30th anniversary trip on as much of the California section of the PCT.

To get a glimpse of the transformation that occurs, watch Andy’s video. He says “The end of the trail is just the beginning of the story.” Visit to learn more about a new short film, Lost or Found: Life after hiking 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Andy’s personal website is at

3 Comments leave one →
  1. nydia permalink
    March 27, 2015 10:05 am

    Wow, Gwen. Will you be taking pics every mile too? What an amazing adventure. Maybe we can live vicariously through you? Best as you venture out – and all the safety and health and protection to carry you to your destination.

  2. annkarkoski permalink
    March 31, 2015 7:26 am

    I’m so excited to be watching your journey, Gwen. I just finished the book “Wild” and felt inspired! Be safe and enjoy the wild!

  3. April 1, 2015 8:32 am

    Thanks! and Yes Nydia, I am taking iPhone photos at least! I will be posting as much as I can here.

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