Friday, March 1, 2024

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Local Voices: Scenes from the Pacific Crest Trail


A report from Emily Quinn

Last month Lansing resident Emily Quinn and her brother Michael Carrick began a months-long adventure of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, “a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail closely aligned with the highest portion of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.” (Source:, cited April 22, 2023)

Wikipedia continues: “The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,653 mi long and ranges in elevation from roughly 110 feet above sea level near the Bridge of the Gods on the Oregon–Washington border to 13,153 feet at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada. The route passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks. Its midpoint is near Chester, California (near Mt. Lassen), where the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges meet.”

Emily has been posting on Facebook about the journey, and she agreed to share these posts with The Lansing Journal to allow the broader community to follow along with them. These Local Voices submissions will include quotes and photos from Emily’s Facebook posts.

Why we’re doing the Pacific Crest Trail

March 18th was the first day we started. I decided to do the trail because I enjoy being outdoors and wanted to challenge myself and commit to something that can be very difficult/scary at times. I wanted to learn about myself and push some of my limits. Also, it seemed like a fun way to spend 5-6 months! Michael says he always thought it seemed like a real adventure and it would be a nice way to begin a new chapter in his life after getting out of the army.

Pacific Crest Trail
On Day 1 of their adventure, March 18, Emily and Michael stand at the trail marker in Campo, California. The marker reads, “Southern Terminus, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, Established by Act of Congress Oct. 2, 1968.” And “Mexico to Canada 2650 miles, 1988 A.D.” And “Elevation 2915 ft.” (Photo provided)

March 18

First day on the Pacific Crest Trail complete!

March 26

Made it to 100 miles on the PCT! Only 2550 more to go! So far we’ve hiked through sun, snow, sleet, wind, and rain. I got sick w a fever one night. We’ve slept on the floor of a restaurant during the storms and have stayed one night in a hotel. We did our first hitchhike to Julian, CA, and back to the trail. Excited for what’s next!

Pacific Crest Trail
Emily marks her first 100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in stones. (Photo provided)
Pacific Crest Trail
Michael surveys the landscape from a rocky outcrop. (Photo provided)

April 6

We’ve made it 200 miles on the PCT! We ended up taking 2 zero days in idyllwild (~mile 151) and decided to flip up to tehachapi (~mile 566.5) and hike south bound to avoid some of the snow. So we hitchhiked to Banning, CA, took a greyhound bus to LA, then got on a train to Lancaster CA, and finally took another bus to the trail head. The 3rd day hiking south, we got stuck in high winds (35mph+) so we sat in our tents the whole day to wait them out. We hiked the LA aqueduct section of the trail which was a flat 24 mile day and made it to Hikertown!

Pacific Crest Trail
“Sunrise near a wind farm heading towards the LA aqueduct,” posted Emily on April 6. (Photo provided)
“The dog that harassed us all night and tried to follow us on the trail the next day,” posted Emily. “So we gave him to a guy that lived nearby and he said he’d give him water and ask his neighbors if it’s their dog.” (Photo provided)

April 10

All the pretty wildflowers we’ve seen on the trail so far!

(Photo provided)
Pacific Crest Trail
(Photo provided)

We’ll continue sharing Emily and Michael’s journey as they continue providing updates. Stay tuned!

Local Voices
Local Voices
Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.


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