Friday, April 25, 2014


So ADZPCTKO stands for annual day zero PCT kickoff. This year there's around 380 people who will start the trail this weekend. At the kickoff there are a bunch of informative talks covering topics like water availability to hiking injuries to wildlife. There are also a ton of vendors selling gear and giving out information. I picked up and pair of shoes and socks to help out with my feet problems. I'll be shipping my shoes, gaiters, and knife back because I feel like I don't need them (at least at this point on the trail). It's a unique vibe here. Like a mix between a hiker/hippie festival and an actual organized professional event. Everyone has been more than inviting about everything, like a huge family. 

On the way down I hitched with a few guys named Cody, Side Show, and Black Swan. I met them in Julian and they're the same age as me so it's been a fun time hanging out. We were picked up by a few people who did the trail last year (30 pack and hippie long stocking). They were really excited for us and we talked trail the whole trip down. From what I've heard there's some amazing things to come. 

Some bad news: 

Last night I learned that a hiker, who was 19 years old, coming from the border to lake Morena died. It was a big reminder that even though this adventure is filled with excitement and fun, it's also dangerous.

This is one of the gifts the pcta gave everyone who is thru hiking. It's called the ass-blaster. I'll let you figure out what it's used for...I don't think I'll be using it.


  1. Hi Aaron! I am from Kennewick and saw the article in the Herald about your trip on the PCT..This has always interested me and I might still someday hike it, although I think I might be getting too old to (39) haha..For the time being I will be living vicariously through you and look forward to your posts along the way! Good luck and stay safe!

  2. Na! You're never too old! I feel like the majority of people are either straight out of school or just retired so you're good. Glad to hear you'll be following, it's been a lot of fun to share my experiences so far.

  3. When we hiked in 2006 Ray Echols (no way ray) died falling down a hundred foot cliff. He was just a mile ahead of us when it happened. It made a big impression on us for sure. We all honored him at the highest point of the trail (Forrester pass in the sierra Nevada). Falling is probably the most dangerous thing on the trail. I almost fell several times while walking and taking pictures. Hiking poles tend to trip you as well if they are just hanging around. The only other scary moment I had was getting water at scissors crossing, the water cache had distilled water ( no electrolytes). I chugged like 2 liters and within 10 minutes I was very sick from lack of electrolytes (very weak, light headed and racing irregular heartbeat). I took some Gatorade and as fine in 5 minutes.

    I would not be surprised if the young guy who just died also diluted his electrolytes out and got heart problems. My advice, drink water slowly, eat some salty snacks with it and keep some powered electrolyte mix with you in case you need it. Generally this is not a problem but you will be tempted to 'tank up' so you don't have to carry water. This electrolyte problem is pretty common we saw at least 3 other hikers who got diluted out. Had to give them some Gatorade to get them going again.

    Be safe out there, you are going to love it.