Agua Dulce (Mile 454) to Tehachapi (Mile 566) Appalachian Trail hikers have invented some pejorative nicknames for the states that trail passes through. Vermont, for example, is known among hikers as Vermud. Pennsylvania is Rocksylvania. New Jersey is New Bearsy. In this spirit, I’d like to propose that California be known forever more as “Windyfornia”. Allow me to explain. The winds in this past section have been intense. There are long stretches… Read More

Wrightwood (Mile 369) to Agua Dulce (Mile 454) Boy, it’s been a hell of a week. I ended up taking three whole zeros in Wrightwood, thanks in no small part to its brewery and handful of cheap restaurants. I finally left town on Wednesday morning with Tidbit, a 31-year-old woman and former national park ranger from Texas who lives in Southern California. We lumbered out to the highway around 8:30AM, our packs… Read More

Big Bear (Mile 266) to Wrightwood (Mile 369) Trail magic can come from the most unexpected places. Before I got discharged from Eisenhower Medical Centre after my A-fib episode, I got a visit from the nursing unit director, Sue. She told me she’d hiked various sections of the PCT, and had a cabin in Big Bear where she spent most of her weekends. She wasn’t in town when I made it to… Read More

Idyllwild (Mile 179) to Big Bear (Mile 266) I got discharged from Eisenhower right in the middle of the Coachella music festival, which had filled up every last hotel room in the Palm Springs area. I hadn’t a hope of finding accommodation until my hospital roommate, Bob, kindly offered to let me stay with him and his wife Karen at their retirement community in Indio, not far away. Bob and Karen are… Read More

The past three days have been a blur of nurses, doctors, cardiologists and hospital technicians, all of whom have told me the same thing. “You’re too young to be in here.” I got dropped off at the Eisenhower Medical Centre ER in Rancho Mirage early on Tuesday morning, after experiencing an irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath at Tahquitz Peak, around mile 175 of my PCT thru-hike. The ER nurse gave me… Read More