I finished the PCT…now what?

The title say it all.  First, a summary.

I retired in 2015 with the express purpose of hiking the whole 2,700 mile Pacific Crest Trail.  And….I failed.

Although I started at the Mexican border and did finish Washington State into Canada, I only completed 1,700 miles that year.  After 5 1/2 months I took a break after reaching Canada and just didn’t want to get back on trail; Mentally I was done.

Cut to 2016 where I restarted with my two friends with a renewed purpose to finish. Fracturing my left Tibia crossing a minor creek killed that.  I took off 2017 just to allow the leg to finally heal.

2018 found me with a dogged determination to finally finish the damned thing, and I did!  Gawd it felt good.  (Well, painful at the time…but it feels good NOW 😀 )

I learned a lot doing the trail.  I’m glad I listened to friends when I originally planned the hike who advised me to do the whole thing and not skip the desert.  Growing up in Southern Cal and hiking in the arid hills, I really wasn’t looking forward to the desert sections.  In hindsight I actually enjoyed them more than I thought I would.  I wouldn’t do them again on a bet!  But I’m still glad I did them.

I have so many people to thank who helped me succeed on this journey: From family, friends, and new friends I met along the way.  This wouldn’t have been possible without their help.  Thank you, all of you.

I’m often asked what was my favorite section.  That’s a tough question because so many parts had things I loved.  Here are my top three:

  1. Central Sierras, from West of Lone Pine to Donner Pass.
  2. Goat Rocks Wilderness in central Washington.
  3. Eagle Creek trail, Oregon.

I feel blessed to actually live in the Sierras, so day hikes are awesome.  Heck, I’m 90 minutes from Yosemite Valley and two hours from Tuolumne Meadows.  Yeah, day hikes are grand and I look forward to SHORT backpacking trips.  (where I don’t HAVE to grind out 15+ miles in a day)

I’m also asked what major through-hike do I have planned next?  The Appalachian Trail?  (AT)  The Continental Divide Trail?  (CDT)   NOPE!  I’m DONE with long death marches.  (At least for now…)

But I still want to visit other places and see new things.  So I’ll be getting my Travel Trailer out of storage and hitting the road.  But, where to?  Mmmmm…dunno yet.

Right now I’m enjoying sitting, reading and just visiting the hills close by.

This blog is about my travels and I intend to update it when I do get off my A**.

Stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “I finished the PCT…now what?

  1. Half Fast,
    Congratulations to you on completing the final section.
    I am glad you endured and finished, I’m sure you will never regret having done so.
    Now it’s time for you to relax and enjoy your surroundings and the good things in your life.
    Along with your blog, I am following (vicariously of course) two young women, who are hiking from the Southern most tip of South America to the most Northern tip of Alaska (approx. 20,000 miles).
    They are into their third year, and presently in Peru. As with you, they are on World Press with the name “Her Odyssey” (without the quote signs).
    The two do come back to the states to refresh/recoup/refit once a year. I believe they have a support team with or close by at all times during the hike.
    Still its a big, big walk. Oh! is that an Understatement!

    I wish you the best,


  2. Michael,
    Congrats on your accomplishment. A pretty amazing feat and one you will never forget. Timely update as some of us from the Inspiring Heights hiking group were sitting around tailgating at the end of this weekend’s hike in Yosemite wondering what you would do next. Thanks for your blog along the trail, and your updates. I always enjoyed reading your blog it took my mind off the day to day BS to a wonderful place along your journeys. Just an FYI while you were gone the Appalachian Trail has been renamed the Tallahassee Trail by executive order. Take Michael look forward to your next journey’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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