Hike to Live

As the name of this website suggests, I hike for reasons other than the typical.

I left for the PCT with full intent to thru the PCT, knowing full well in the back of my mind that I’d be returning home at some point, perhaps for the season, because of extenuating circumstances.

Those circumstances were the fact that my wife was *very* pregnant and would be giving birth while I was on the trail.

I didn’t fly home for the birth of our child, mainly because of how concerned I was about my personal safety (the main reason for leaving), as well as some lingering doubts about whether or not I would be able to connect with our daughter (there were some traumatic experiences with children on a deployment overseas).

I left home because life was too difficult to bear and I was contemplating suicide again. After 70+ days on the trail I was able to return home.

1,600 miles in, I was able to not only make the decision to return home, but I was able to mentally come to terms with the fact that it was the right thing to do.

This is why I hike - for clarity, for peace, and to better enable me to better manage my life after trauma.

I will be returning to the trail in the Spring to finish the last 1,000 miles northbound from Mexico.

I hope you join me.


Day 63

Day: 63

Date: 19 Sep 2017 0849PM

Location: Camping near mile 1257.6

Today's Miles: 26.7

Total Miles: 1392.4

Slept in a sandy area by a river last night. Went well except for the dust bowl of sand that was blowing all over the place in the gusting winds.

Woke up a bit earlier than expected, but we all packed up and waited outside the restaurant for thirty minutes for them to open. It was well worth the wait because the food was pretty delicious. Had myself some chicken fried steak and a side order of biscuits and gravy.

We all finished up and unfortunately had to say goodbye to a hiker who's leaving to return to the real world. We all only just met but it's still sad to see her go.

Packed up while listening to a young hikers who's soul purpose out here is the write music inspired by the trail for the PCTA.

Solid day of hiking, even though the climb out was ridiculously steep over multiple miles. Felt like being back on the AT again. Managed to get in more miles than expected, even having not left town until around 1000.

Great views at the top and a bit of ridge walking as well. Got to the intended stopping point just as it got dark. Not night hiking tonight, supposed to get below freezing.

Rain in the forecast tomorrow and the next day, the super awesome kind that happens when the temperature hovers around freezing. Going to suck big time since my winter gear isn't arriving for a few more days.


Day 56

Day: 56

Date: 12 Sep 2017 0936PM

Location: Camping near mile 1422.2

Today's Miles: 26.6

Total Miles: 1227.9

Rained on and off last night. Combined with the heat lightening it was a rough night of sleep.

Slow start this morning, but still out by 0730. Looked out over the sunrise on the horizon and saw what appeared to be smoke over the next ridge line. Paid it no mind, it definitely wasn’t there last night.

Pretty dull day. I’ve come to the conclusion that for every mile of beautiful trail, there’s at least ten miles of slogging. Today was full of slogging.

Second day in a row I haven’t seen a another soul. It’s refreshing to be alone so much.

Climbed over a ridge to see the fire from earlier had grown in size. Checked my fire mapping tools the next time I had service and confirmed it was close to the trail. Managed to walk past it, but not without having ash fall from the sky and the smell of fire retardant permeate throughout the evening.

Resupply and hot food early tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Yummy fresh water

Yummy fresh water


Day 54

Day: 54

Date: 10 Sep 2017 0849PM

Location: Camping near mile 1475.6

Today's Miles: 23.1

Total Miles: 1174.5


Flew into Redding, CA late last night. Luckily managed to find a trail angel on Facebook who was willing to pick me up from the airport, put me up for the night in his home, drive me to a grocery this morning and finally, shuttle me the forty five miles back to the trail.  Even got to eat a free continental breakfast this morning as well, guy’s wife works at a local hotel.


Made it back to the the trail around 1000. Finished off the rice pudding that I purchased at the store, hitched up my new pack, and off I went.


About a mile in I found some trail magic left aside the trail. Fresh water and some sodas in a cooler. Topped off my water, stuck a soda in my pack, kept on going.


About seven miles of elevation gain, but it was wooded and pretty gradual. Not much to look at, but there were are few views of both the south side of Castle Crags and Mt. Shasta throughout the climb.


Uneventful day otherwise. Sun went down way too quickly for my liking (around 1945), but I was pretty exhausted so it was welcome. Seven days off was great for returning rested, but the first day back proved to be quite the exhausting day. It’ll get easier, just have to get back into the groove of things.


Didn’t see a single soul all day after getting on the trail. Most everyone headed north is past this point by now. I’m sure I’ll run into a few more people now and again but they’ll probably be few and far between.