Devil's Ridge Trail

Devil's Ridge was our second attempt to get on the Pacific Crest Trail legally. In spots, the trail was as overgrown as Castle Pass and there was a lot of debris to climb over, but we were able to move at a faster pace nonetheless.

Another evening of rain covered the trees in rainwater, which meant we were once again soaked. Stopping meant getting cold, so we kept moving.

At elevations above 4,500 feet, the trail was covered in snow. We stopped to put on dry clothes, trade our trekking poles for ice axes, and slip Microspikes onto our shoes for better traction.

For a while there were no views of the peaks to help with navigation. Visibility was down to only a few yards. The trail went due east, so we followed the compass, staying relatively close to the trail all day by zig-zagging back and forth. We'd occasionally see the trail peaking through melted patches in the snow, to assure us we were on track. We'd lose it for a while, find it again, lose it, find it.

The constant route finding and having to slowly kick step along steep slopes set us back another day. At this speed, we figured our 7 days of food would need to last us as many as 14, so we had to turn back.

"I say we just go to Canada, resupply, and cross over the border illegally," I said.

Since 2010, it has been illegal to enter the United States from Canada, but this was our plan as we walked back down to Highway 20. Red was having second thoughts about that, though. We got a hitch to civilization and went back to Seattle. He bought a touring bike and has since started riding back to New York. A cross-country bicycle trip has been a goal of his for a long time and he decided now was the time.

As for me, well... We've been planning to hike the PCT together for so long that I had to ask myself what I would have done if I had been planning a solo trip instead. What I really want to do is leave the country. Other than a trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls, I've never left the states. So I decided, what the hell.. I'm going to hike a few thousand miles around Europe.

I fly to Dublin, Ireland on July 9th.