Day 1

About to start our journey!

About to start our journey!

I could barely sleep at all last night. I was so nervous! Chas and I didn’t finish getting everything put together until a little after 11pm. We checked our packs to make sure we had everything together, then double and triple checked. I finally fell asleep around 1am, and then woke up at 4am to start our very first day hiking the PCT! Chas made me a breakfast sandwich, and we drank our coffee while stretching in his mom’s kitchen. We left to pick up Matt around 5am, and it took about an hour to drive to the Southern Terminus at the Mexican border in Campo, California. We all had butterflies the whole drive. Once exiting the freeway, we had to take dirt roads, winding through what felt like the middle of nowhere. We went up a hill, and saw the monument in the distance. We were almost there. The sun had just started to rise when Chas’ mom dropped us off. She took all our photos, hugged us, and watched us hike onto the trail. I was so happy she was there to send us off.

Chelsea and Matty

Chelsea and Matty

Mile One!!!

Mile One!!!

Chas and Chelsea

Chas and Chelsea

Once we hit the trail the butterflies went away. It felt like we were supposed to be there. We had to hike to Lake Morena, 20 miles away. It was a hot day, in the 90’s. We met some other hikers along the way, and they were all really friendly. The first 15 miles were decent. The trail went up and down, in the sun, and some parts in the shade. It wasn’t an easy hike, but we were so full of adrenaline that the first 15 seemed to fly by. We took a few breaks where we sat down, and removed our shoes and socks to let our feet air out. We brought lots of snacks, like Snickers, fruit gummies, and Clif bars. The last 5 miles however, were long and brutal. We got to Hauser Canyon, and it looked very intimidating. We hiked down a long steep decent in the shade, and it hurt my aching knees. My legs had started to chafe, and hurt with each step. By the time we got down to the bottom of the Canyon, we were ready for a little break to catch our breath. A hiker popped out from behind some trees. “We’ve got a nice shady area over here!” he yelled to us. His name was Twice, and he and Ed had their pads laid out and were taking a nice long break. They were waiting for the blazing sun to go over the mountain more, so the hike up the canyon would be less treacherous. We decided to join them. We all sprawled out under the big trees and took a nap for about an hour. It was a little after 4pm, and we figured we should get going.

About to go down the canyon

About to go down the canyon

Taking a much needed break

Taking a much needed break

The hike up had no shade covering, and it was a long climb. At first we were okay hiking up, but once we got closer to the top of the canyon, Matt and I weren’t feeling too well. I took out my sun umbrella and gave Matt one of my trekking poles. We took lots of water breaks, but the temperature was still in the mid 90s. Chas had white stuff all over his face and body. It was salt! We were covered in sweat, and very dirty. We met two more hikers on the way up. One had a sun umbrella too, and the cutest gaiters with whales on them. He later introduced himself as Rob. The other hiker, Chance. Once at the top of the canyon, we felt relief. We were closer to Lake Morena! The last few miles felt like eternity. When we finally turned the corner and saw the lake below we all got so excited! We were skipping down to camp (well, more like a limping skip, haha.)

Once we got to camp we were greeted by a hippy girl with dreadlocks dancing. She introduced herself, Rocket Llama. Rocket Llama is a “trailebrity.” She hiked last year and was stranded in her tent in the snow for over a week. Look her up, she’s amazing. At Lake Morena there were about 11 of us. I felt relieved when everyone felt the same way we did. Some hikers never even made it to camp that night. We were all so worn out, but fell so proud of ourselves. We set up our tent while the sun was setting, and we sat down and cooked our dinner in the dark. Chas and I smashed a whole bag of tortillas with rice, beans, and Tapatio. We made 4 little burritos each. So good! Matt crashed hard as soon as he set up his tent. He fell asleep on top of his sleeping bag he was so tired. After dinner Chas and I walked to the camp bathrooms. I noticed a shower, so I hopped in. The water was freezing, but whatever. It wasn’t until I went to turn off the water that I noticed I was able to make the water hot! Haha oh well I was already clean. I fell asleep soon after getting in my sleeping bag. It was a long, but awesome first day!


Day 2

We woke up on day 2 to some condensation on the inside of our tent from staying in the lower lying area of Lake Morena. The alarm on my watch went off at 6am but we didn’t get up until about 6:45, being tired from the day before. We broke down camp, made some coffee and Chelsea shared some cocoa with Rocket Llama so they could both drink “mochas” and we were on our way by 8am.

Chelsea under the 8 Freeway!

Chelsea under the 8 Freeway!

The hike out followed some hills that surrounded Lake Morena and down into Cottonwood Creek and through some shrubby oak land and we were at Boulder Oaks Campground by mile 5 for a nice shady break before we started our climb out into the Lagunas.

Hiking Day 2

Hiking Day 2

After about an hour of hydrating, snacking and changing socks we departed with some new friends we’ve made in only one day; Rob, Michaela,Chance, and Rocket Llama. The hike out of Boulder Oaks passed under Highway 8 and made a steady climb up through a scrubby area with very little shade. For the rest of the afternoon we flip flopped with our friends while a couple broke off early and went to Yellow Rose Spring to camp. Our intention for the day was to hike to about Mile 36 for a 16 mile day but the elevation gain and heat was too much. We decided to take the 6/10th of a mile side trail at Mile 33 down to Cibbets Flat Campground for the night.

Beautiful succulent

Beautiful succulent

We dropped down into the campground and were greeted by some campers that informed us that there was a creek that ran through which sounded AMAZING after our long sweaty day. Cibbets Flat had some great sites with large oak trees so we set up in one with a water spigot right in the middle. After hanging out and taking our shoes off for about an hour, Rob and Michaela rolled in and decided to share the site with us. Matt hung out at the site while we all rolled down to check out the creek and wash up a bit. After we came back and cooked up our dinner together and were all in bed by 8PM.

Chelsea taking a dip in the river

Chelsea taking a dip in the river

Chas, Chelsea, Rob, Micaela, and Matt

Chas, Chelsea, Rob, Micaela, and Matt

Santa Cruz Mountains


Chelsea at Henry Cowell Redwoods

Hello Glorious Redwoods! It has been too long! I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years since I stayed at my Dad’s cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.. oh well. Chas and I really wanted to visit my family before we started our trip, so we made it a point to do so. It feels like a vacation within a vacation. Lots of hiking, camping, and family time!

Henry Cowell Redwoods

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Chas and I took my younger brother to do a fun nature loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods. I’ve done this nature loop in the past, and I enjoyed it just as much now as I did then. It’s such a beautiful park. I love seeing the redwood trees, especially the great big ones! One of the trees is over 270 feet tall, and 17 feet across it’s trunk! Looking for banana slugs within the sorrel ( the clover-looking plant around redwood trees) is always fun too. There is even an albino redwood tree! The albino tree lacks chlorophyl, which plants need to stay alive, but also gives the green-color to plants. This albino tree has attached it to another nearby tree and takes the nearby tree’s chlorophyl, allowing the albino tree to live.


Huge tree


Albino redwood

After the nature loop, we went over to Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz for a delicious vegan “milkshake.” I got a chocolate shake, with cookie crumbs mixed in. The boys didn’t order a shake, but looked jealous when mine arrived. So I offered to share 🙂 Yum! Henry Cowell Redwoods has another part of the park, which we hiked a few days later. This was called the Fall Creek Unit, and is at the northern section. We made a loop of about 5 miles. Along the hike we climbed the mountain ridge, explored old lime kilns, and traveled along a river. Hiking here in the redwood forest was a nice change from the San Diego desert climate.


Pretty sorrel everywhere


Chas and Buddy Banana Slug


The old lime kilns

Castle Rock State Park Overnight

Ready for our overnight!

Ready for our overnight!

Can't keep Chas from climbing rocks

Can’t keep Chas from climbing rocks


Chelsea admiring all the trees

We really wanted to do a backpacking trip in the mountains, but all the backpacker camps in Big Basin were closed for the season. Only one was open, and it was the backpacker camp at Castle Rock State Park. The hike in was only a few miles, but we had the whole camp to ourselves! It was a little scary knowing there were no park rangers or other hikers. It was just Chas and I, along with all the signs warning us about predatory animals. All the sites were deep in the dense trees, and dark by early afternoon. We finally found a spot close to the edge of the mountain, where the trees opened up and the ground was almost sandy. The sun was shining, and gave us warmth even though it was cold and windy out. We knew this spot would be perfect for us! We had found a pile of firewood previous campers left on the other side of the campground, so we returned to gather it. We were stoked we could have a nice warm campfire that night.  We made dinner after setting up our tent. We tested the food we will be eating along the PCT. We made Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and cut up some vegan “jerquee” to add. It had been over 15 years since I ate Kraft Mac & Cheese, and it was better than I remembered.

Mmm mac & cheese with "jerky"

Mmm mac & cheese with “jerquee”

We altered the recipe a little bit to practice for our big trip. This is how we made it:

  • We boiled 1 1/2 cups of water on the Jetboil. (By using less water there is no need to drain or simmer.)
  • Turn off heat.
  • Add pasta, some olive oil, “jerquee”, and cheese packet (no milk or dairy necessary)
  • Turn stove back on. Heat to a boil. Then turn off heat.
  • Stir. Put on lid, and place in pot cozy for 10 minutes. (This saves fuel)
  • Stir it once more.
  • Let sit another 10 minute.
  • Eat it!

After dinner we watched the sunset, and got into our tent. The wind was roaring by now, but our tent held up like a champ! We were scared of moisture buildup inside the tent like it did in the desert, so this time we made sure the tent had ventilation. We laid in our bags, trying to sleep. But the wind was so loud we couldn’t right away. The wind wasn’t the only problem though. We woke up the next morning with sand in our tent, our eyes, and mouth. But hey, there was no condensation this time! Haha. Practice will make perfect.. I hope!

Us with our tent

Us with our tent

Chas making coffee

Chas making coffee

We hiked back out to the car, and indulged in beer and veggie burgers topped with avocado fries at Boulder Creek Brewery. It was a great way to end our little overnight trip- dirty, buzzed, and a full belly!



We had a great time up in Santa Cruz. Lots of hiking, and I got to hang out with my family almost every day of the week. We made homemade pizzas, barbecued, hung out by the pool, and enjoyed each other’s company. I’m really glad I got to spend time with my family and friends before our trip. I’m looking forward to having them meet us along the way!

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Caves, Creeks, and Camping

What we’ve been up to lately:

Desert sunrise

Desert sunrise from our tent 🙂

Wilderness First Aid

The last weekend of February we spent all day Saturday and Sunday taking a Wilderness First Aid class hosted by the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute at the Encinitas REI. This was a 16 hour course that got us both certifications in WFA and can hopefully help us out on the trail if anything medically unforeseen may happen. In the class we learned:

  • Patient Assessment System
  • Evacuation Plans and Emergency Procedures
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Shock
  • Head Injuries
  • Wilderness Wound Management
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Fracture Management
  • Dislocations
  • Cold Injuries
  • Heat Illness
  • Altitude Illness
  • Lightning
  • The Medical Patient
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Wilderness First Aid Kits
Taping up a sprained ankle

Taping up a sprained ankle

The class itself was fun and informative. We’d like to take the next level in the future, which certifies you to be a Wilderness First Responder and goes into more detail with each topic.

Agua Caliente Creek

The first weekend out of our apartment felt like the perfect opportunity to go on a hike along the PCT. Agua Caliente Creek is in Warner Springs. It is close enough to where we’re staying, but just far enough to feel like you’re away from it all. It was a really mellow part of the trail that went along a creek. It was a drizzly day, right after a little storm started to clear up. We saw a NOBO (Northbound) hiker today. We also saw a wide variety of PCT signs along this hike, so we thought it would be fun to share them with you!

All color, no black

All color, no black

All black, no color

All black, no color

Super huge sign

Super huge sign

This one's just a sticker

This one’s just a sticker

Super faded sign

Super faded sign

Wooden sign

Wooden sign

Day in the Desert

We love the desert, and try to go there often. Knowing that we’re leaving town, we’ve been trying to do all the things we’ve been wanting to. We accomplished three of those in one trip out to the desert!

Anza Borrego

Anza Borrego

1) Mud caves: We’ve been wanting to check these out for quite some time now. The caves are found along the walls of the wash canyon. The mud caves in our desert are one of the most extensive mud cave systems in the world. There are close to 22 known caves, and 9 slot canyons.


Informational sign

“The mud caves are formed by fluvial erosion caused during periods of heavy rainfall.  When this infrequent rainfall occurs, it cuts channels into the mud hills that are commonly found in the Pseudokarst topography of this arid region.  The channels cause erosion and form canyons with unstable and undercut walls.  As the channels deepen, the walls cave in.  Because of the cohesive consistency of the mud in this particular area and its ability to swell to several times its original dry volume, it adheres to itself and to the canyon walls, creating natural bridges and, sometimes caves, as it dries,” –


Chelsea exploring


Chas exploring

2) Camping in Blair Valley:

After exploring the mud caves the sun began to quickly set over the mountains to the west so we decided we needed to find a spot to set up camp for the night. We came prepared to hike into camp somewhere if we had more time but the sun was setting too fast. We drove back up the road to a place called Blair Valley that has primitive camping that is totally free! We found a spot that was hugged up against a rocky mountain side and behind a large rock for some wind protection and we could also sit on top of it to watch the stars that night. Once we got our tent set up we cooked up some Kraft Mac & Cheese on our Jetboil and substituted olive oil for the dairy. This was a chance for us to try cooking up a meal that will be pretty common while on the PCT. After the sun set the temperature immediately started to drop, so we cooked up some hot cocoa, looked up at the stars and watched all the satellites whizz by overhead. We were in our cozy sleeping bags in our tent by 8pm! Going to bed early meant we were able to get up at 5:30 to make some coffee and watch the sun rise. It was a really cold morning and some moisture had built up on the outside of our tent and we even had some condensation build up on the inside, we had no idea it could get so wet out in the desert! Camp was broken down by 9am and we were on our way to do some more exploring that day.

photo 1

Chas making our morning coffee

photo 2

Chas with our french press, watching the sunrise

photo 3

Mmm coffee!

photo 5

Our camp kitchen

3) Pictographs: In Blair Valley there is a trail that leads you to ancient Indian pictographs. We attempted to hike the trail late last summer, but there were bees everywhere! This time the bees weren’t a problem. The trail is only about 1 mile each direction, and is an out-and-back. Over 50 Native American rock art sites have been found in Anza-Borrego. The ones along this trail have little-known meaning, though some people think it represents adolescent rites, solstice rituals, and vision quests. Pretty neat!

Chelsea with the pictographs

Chelsea with the pictographs

So that is what we’ve been up to the last couple weeks! Stay tuned for another update in the next few days.

The Road to Freedom

Disclaimer: A friend/reader requested that I write a blog post with more of an emotional aspect. Here it goes:

It was tough to commit to this 6 month journey. The idea of spending every day with each other, exploring the great outdoors, without the stress and pressure from society sounded like a dream-come-true. That idea grabbed our hearts over 5 years ago. But why did it take so long to go after it?


Chas and I have been living together since 2007 when I graduated high school. Apart from a few transitional months between moving, we have been living on our own ever since. It feels great to have your own “home” whether that be a house, condo, apartment, or van. It feels great to have and pay your own bills. It feels great to have a job where you work almost full time. It feels great because it makes you feel like you’re a responsible adult. That’s what Chas and I always tried to be. We had dreams and goals, but we were always trying to do what was “right.” To us that meant work and college, and not traveling, babies, new game systems, whatever. But why?


I was raised with a big emphasis on going to college. I took AP classes in high school and got all A’s and B’s. I didn’t apply to any big colleges, but had the plan of transferring from a junior college after a few years. So Chas and I moved in together after high school and I worked and went to school. We talked about hiking the pct, but I couldn’t dare quit work or school, and he couldn’t either. He had a “great job” at Costco, and my seniority in school allowed me to get first pick for classes. Every time we talked about leaving and hiking the trail we got scared. What would we do with our things? What would we do for work when we were done since the job market is so bad? Where would we move after? What about our pets? What would our families think about us being so irresponsible? These questions scared us for years. We put the dream aside.
Last April, 2013, Chas and I went hiking in Mount Laguna. It was the start of the season, and we saw lots of pct thru-hikers. It was my first semester of taking a break from college. My mom had just taken her life the summer before, and I couldn’t focus in school. I couldn’t focus on anything really. I only found peace and happiness in the tranquility of my other mother- Nature. “We need to do this,” I told Chas. We opened up the pct discussion again that day. With the loss of my mom, and also the loss of Chas’ dad, we really started talking about how precious life is. Everyone has dreams, but what happens to the people that work their whole lives and pass away before they get to go after those dreams? They’re so busy being good responsible adults that they don’t take time to do what makes them happy. And without being happy, what are you really working towards? We only have one chance at life, so why not live in the moment. Live for today. So chas and I quit our jobs. We left good, reliable jobs. We left our apartment. We left our nice, clean, comfy apartment. These were not easy things to do. In fact we’ve questioned our decision numerous times. But without change we can’t really grow too much. If we don’t go after this dream we will be constantly wondering “what if we did?” Now we will know. Without our jobs, without our apartment, without our things, I’m starting to feel free. I can only imagine what falling asleep under the stars, and waking up to the sunrise will feel like for 6 months with the person I love. Oh and as a nice bonus I found out that even with taking a break from school I still got an associates degree, although I don’t get to “walk” at graduation because I will be “walking” to Canada instead!


The day we decided to go after the dream!

Valentine’s Camping


Our Tent

Chas and I went camping in Mount Laguna last week. We camped the same night that we met our friends for a full moon hike. We love the Laguna Campground, so it was the perfect place to camp and celebrate Valentines Day. We finally got to test a lot of our gear too!

What kind of gear did we test?

Tarptent Double Rainbow


Our tent

(Features from

  • Free-standing (with trekking poles) or staked
  • Hybrid bathtub floor — clip / unclip floor walls for splash, space, views, and airflow
  • Dual netting doors for views, airflow, and insect resistance; bug proof when zipped up Dual beaks shield rain, provides gear storage
  • Fast setup — 2 minutes from sack to pitched
  • Small packed size — removable strut for stuffing
  • Taut pitch resists wind, sag, and storms; integrated line tighteners
  • Reflective spectra cord guylines included

Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad


Sleeping bags, Z Lite pads, and my sleeping pants

Chas has been using his for awhile, but it was my first time. It in no way compares to our super comfy bed, but  it offers a little more cushioning than sleeping on the ground does. Why the Z Lite? It’s ultralight and easy to pack. Some hikers cut 1/4 of it off to save weight (and just use an empty pack for padding under their feet.)

  • Fold up easily like an accordion.
  • Has heat trapping “dimples”
  • ThermaCapture™ coating that reflects radiant heat (this is supposed to increase warmth by 20%)
  • Foams are softer on top for extra comfort and denser on the bottom for extra durability.
  • Ultralight
  • Weighs 10 oz.
  • Made in USA

Western Mountaineering UltraLite 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag

We’ve already used these bags a few times. We bought these for each other as Christmas presents. I love this bag! We used our clothing “stuff sacks” as pillows.

  • Weighs 1 lb 13 oz
  • 16 oz down fill
  • Rated for temperatures down to 20 degrees
  • Full down collar to help trap heat around your neck


For sleeping we each have a set of long underwear, or a base layer. This consists of a top and bottoms. We chose to use Patagonia Capalene 3. They were really comfy, and paired with my sleeping bag I stayed nice and warm! This base layer with be used just for sleeping so they don’t get dirty and smelly. Some details from the website:

  • Stretchy double-knit fabric wicks extremely well
  • Smooth face slides easily beneath layers
  • Fabric brushed for warmth, softness and compressibility
  • Self-fabric crewneck for next-to-skin comfort
  • Thumb loops for secure hand coverage

Jetboil Sol Ti


Jetboil, coffee, and a h2o bottle

We were originally going to go with an alcohol stove that uses denatured alcohol and weighs almost nothing. But because of how dry it is this year, and the risk of wildfires, many National Forests are considering putting a ban on them because they don’t have an off switch. So we decided to use the Jetboil. We also got a french press attachment piece for morning coffee ( I know, sounds silly but we’re trying to cut weight in so many places that I feel we earned this and we really really love coffee.)

  • Holds .8 L
  • Includes burner, cook pot, pot support, canister tripod
  • Lightest Jetboil cooking system
  • Very fast heating rate (a little over 2 min)
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Excellent cold resistance

We woke up on Valentine’s Day in our tent, a little sore from all the hiking during the week, but nice and warm. Chas made us coffee with the new french press accessory and it didn’t really work. The coffee grounds came up the sides of the filter, but whatever. We just let the ground sink to the bottom and enjoyed some cowboy coffee.


Chelsea and her coffee

We packed up our tent and gear, and loaded up our backpacks. It didn’t take long to breakdown camp. I’m excited to see how fast we can do it once we get more practice. We went on a little hike along the PCT from Pioneer Mail Picnic Area to the big boulder field around mile 56. On the map it’s listed as a small campsite in boulder field. We ate a bar and relaxed for a bit before turning around and hiking back. It was a really hot day, and I wish I had brought my sunhat. We tried out our new long sleeve button-up shirts. They’re supposed to keep you cool and protect you from the sun. It will take some getting used to. I felt like I should be leading a Girl Scout troop, but Chas said I looked cute.


Pioneer Mail Picnic Area


Chas with the desert behind him


Chelsea at mile marker 55


Enjoying a snack at the boulders

After our hike we stopped by the Mount Laguna Lodge and got some ice cream. We also went to the Mount Laguna Sport and Supply in hunt for a sun umbrella. A thru-hiker we met up in Tuolumne Meadows last year spoke highly of his sun umbrella he picked up in Mount Laguna for the desert sections. The owner Dave (Super) had one! He was very friendly and helpful. He informed us of some hikes he leads up in the mountains, and also told us he could do a gear shakedown and help us rid ourselves of unnecessary weight.


Super’s Store

With how busy we have been lately I’m glad our camping trip went so well. It has been almost two weeks since we left our jobs to pursue this dream. Since the full moon hike and our camping trip we have been packing up our apartment and moving stuff into storage which hasn’t left us with much time to go on a long hike and we’re starting to itch a little. This weekend we have a 16 hour Wilderness Medicine course that is all day Saturday and Sunday which is going to be really fun and informative. Then after next week when we’re out of our apartment; it’s long hikes, backpacking and re-supply shopping!

Full Moon Hike (2-13-14)

full moon hike

Sean Evans Photography

Last week was February’s full moon. We had so much fun on our last full moon hike that we decided to go on another one up to Garnet Peak. Chas and I got a campsite at the Laguna Campground down the road from where we were going on our hike. We hung out there for a few hours before meeting our friends at the Penny Pines trailhead. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The temperature outside was a low of 60 degrees, and the sky was much more clear than last time, allowing us to see pretty well without any headlamps. This trail has lots of rocks so we were stumbling a little bit. Once we got to the top the view was spectucular as always. We celebrated with refreshing summit beers: Pizza Port’s Chronic and Ponto SIPA, Modern Times, and Chas sipped on his scotch! Yum! Thanks to our friends Katie, Amelia, Matt, Sean, and Veronica for joining us! The beautiful picture above was taken by our friend Sean during our full moon hike. He’s got more amazing photos on his website 🙂


The Girls

Kwaay Paay


Chelsea + Chas

Just got done doing a quick sunset hike up Kwaay Paay at Mission Trails Regional Park with Chas and my friend Kelsey. The sky was gorgeous! It is a moderate hike, and about 2.5 miles roundtrip. It climbs pretty early on into the trail, so it definitely gets you breathing! We stopped short of the summit because it got really dark, but it was a nice hike anyway. We brought our packs, which were weighing about 15 lbs each. I’m glad my friend joined us, it was a fun little hike!


The trail up to Kwaay Paay



Mt. Woodson

Chas and I hiked up Mt. Woodson yesterday. We started the trail around 9am, and the mountain was foggy the whole way up. It felt mystical. We hiked from the Ramona side, and carried our packs with us. The hike is on a paved road, and is steep the whole way up. Chas and I had done the hike multiple times in the past, but the weight of our backpacks made it quite a workout this time. After we got warmed up, the backpacks became a lot less noticeable, and we started flying up the mountain. I even passed 6 people along the way (which was a nice ego boost since I was carrying extra weight!)


The trail goes between some huge rocks

When we got to the top we walked over to the famous “potato chip rock.” It has recently gained extreme popularity due to social media. The rock is thin plank that looks like it will break at any moment. When we got to the rock nobody else was there, so I had Chas snap my photo. It had been 5 years since I was last on it.  The rock itself is really spectacular, and it’s a nice reward to finishing the trail. The only downside is now due to its many visitors, the place is littered with trash. We filled up a whole bag of water bottles and food wrappers. We saw the trash before the rock. How sick is that? I never understood the concept behind trashing a place that you go to enjoy. If you can carry a water bottle up the mountain full of water, is it really that much harder to carry it down when its empty?


Chelsea on the famous rock


Some trash we collected.



Pine needles collecting water from the fog

Pine needles collecting water from the fog

We hiked back down, and got to our cars around 10:30am, and the sun was starting to shine. It became a beautiful day! Chas’ mom lives nearby, so went over to her house where she prepared a delicious birthday lunch for Chas. We hardly ate anything for breakfast that way we could indulge in  her homemade cheese and chili enchiladas. She even had a birthday cake!

Happy Birthday Chas!

Happy Birthday Chas!

PCT Long Distance Permit

Woo! We applied for our long distance permits yesterday! The form had only been available for an hour when Chas applied for them. He had been stalking the PCTA’s (Pacific Crest Trail Association’s) website for days! Permits become available at the beginning of February each year. PCT Long Distance Permits are required to hike more than 500 continuous miles along the trail. The permit allows overnight use along the PCT corridor. Best part about it? It’s free!! Want to know more about the permits? Click here


Applying for our PCT Long Distance Permits

Today we received Halfmile’s Maps. They are extremely accurate and detailed. These color maps show elevation profiles and waypoints every half mile. The maps show you resupply points, water sources, points of interests, etc. The maps are available for free, but if we were to print them ourself it would total about 476 pages. We ordered them instead, and got them printed double-sided in color (making it only 238 pages.) Halfmile’s Maps have been recommended by many hikers, and are updated every year. More about the maps here.


Our new maps


Maps for days!