PCT Thruhike: Section 1

Please enjoy the combination of video, mini blog, and photo gallery of our first week on the Pacific Crest Trail!

Click here for a link to the Section 1 Gallery!


Tuesday, June 18:

  • Day: 0
  • Miles Hiked Today: 5.9
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 5.9
  • Update: On our first day, we started around 1pm from Cascade Locks for a short 6 mile hike in to get started. Before leaving town, we ate huge meals at the Bridgeside Diner and chomped on some cherries a trail angel bestowed upon us as we walked down the street! Camp set up was a breeze after all our practice. We listened to podcasts until we fell asleep for a long slumber in preparation for a big elevation gain this morning.

Wednesday, June 19:

  • Day: 1
  • Miles Hiked Today: 13.2
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 19.1
  • Update: A perfect first full day on the trail! I, Melissa, have honestly been dreading the elevation gain on today’s hike for months, building it way up in my head, but it was super chill. We met two other hikers today, who both complained about how hard it was, which also felt like a bonus because I thought it was pretty easy.  On top of that we walked past miles of beautiful wildflowers and are camping next to a gorgeous creek right now. It’s supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow, bummer, but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

Thursday, June 20:

  • Day: 2
  • Miles Hiked Today: 16
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 35.1
  • Update: It rained all morning and was pretty chilly, but we kept warm with a morning hike uphill…though couldn’t really even stop to break from being so cold and wet from sweat and rain as we descended a mountain in the afternoon.  Once at a lower elevation, the sun came out just as we crossed a river, so we soaked up some rays, soaked our feet, and dried out gear. Then, right after that we got some trail magic! Really surprised by the easy hiking through here….hardly felt the 16 today…but we expect it will get hard soon enough!

Friday, June 21:

  • Day: 3
  • Miles Hiked Today: 13
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 48.1
  • Update: We intended to go a little bit further today than we did. We found a beautiful campsite with water close by. Since it is a little cooler out,  we decided to make a fire. The hike was a gentle 10 miles up before a gentle down. We are at a bit higher elevation, camp is at 3100 ft. There have been a lot of wildflowers,  including rhododendrons, daisies, foxglove, and many we don’t know. We have had very sparse cell service, which makes this feel much more wild.

Saturday, June 22:

  • Day: 4
  • Miles Hiked Today: 12.2
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 60.3
  • Update: We have been specifically doing small miles as we start out, aiming at 12-16 miles per day, so as to hear our bodies whine before they scream and our strategy seems to be working. We’re both feeling good in body and mind. It’s been such a delightful few days on the trail! After a seriously rough start on our Appalachian Trail thruhike, we had steeled ourselves, preparing to be miserable for the first two weeks, so our high spirits and fresh bodies are a huge relief (for now…). We’ve also camped the past two nights with a lovely South African desert ecologist named Magic Pack, who has kept us majorly entertained! It’s nice to be reminded of how many kindred spirits are out there just waiting to be met :).

Sunday, June 23:

  • Day: 5
  • Miles Hiked Today: 16.6
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 76.9
  • Update: We began with chilly rain this morning,  kind of a bummer considering many only get 1-3 days of rain the entire PCT and this was our 3rd rain in 5 days! However,  it did dry up by the afternoon so the mosquitoes could come get their snack…lol. All kidding aside, it was actually a lovely day, our biggest miles to date, and not too difficult. Our short days have allowed us ample time to enjoy our campsites and have fires. Even today,  we were in camp by 3pm. It’s been good to start feeling the trail legs kicking in. We’re already moving steadily between 2.5 and 3 mph, which is pretty good. We camped again tonight with Magic Pack. Tomorrow we head into our first resupply town! Trout Lake!

Monday, June 24:

  • Day: 6
  • Miles Hiked Today: 5
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 81.8
  • Update: Today we had an easy 5 miles into a road where we had pre-arranged a ride from the legendary Trail Angel, Doug. He filled the 14 mile ride into Trout Lake with lots of Intel on the area and instilled in us a great respect for the amazing support this small town offers to us thruhikers. We’re currently staying in a back room of the local grocery store! I know how it sounds,  but it’s SUPER NICE! There’s laundry, and showers, and…ROBES! We were also treated to an amazing care package from our Road Trip USA students! Thanks kids (and Mrs. Ricketts!!)


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