May 5th – Virginia

Total distance: 175.54 mi
Average speed: 21.20 mi/h


20mi. (Mile 20.0) – Lake Morena
Hi 95/Low 45


We arrived to the kickoff late Friday around 9:00pm. Got registered, found our campsite, and cowboy camped next to Split + Two Step, and Lion Heart who are all also thru-hiking this year.


The kickoff festival is a yearly hiker gathering geared toward PCT thru hikers; the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail KickOff festival – ADZPCTKO. They have popular hiking brand vendors, various presentations, snow and water reports, short film showings, and plenty of experienced hikers with good advice to give.
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pre-trip update 2 – The Trip Out West

Our journey started in Chicago where we met up with our 2009 thru-hiking partner Flying Scotsman. Flying Scotsman completed the Appalachian Trail with us in 2009 and he will be attempting a thru hike with us this year on the PCT.

When Tank and I arrived in Chicago the city had experienced some flooding, especially in the suburb of an old friend we had planned on meeting. Sorry we couldn’t meet up Pat, Good luck with the cleanup!

Before the three of us left Chicago the weather cleared up and we were able to see a few landmarks. Millennium park, the “Cloud Gate” sculpture a.k.a. the giant silver bean by artist Anish Kapoor, and we visited the Chicago art Institute.

We departed Saturday on the “California Zephyr” Amtrak train headed ultimately to San Diego, then the PCT kickoff festival. From there we leave to take our first steps on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Below is the spot GPS map of our trip from Chicago – San Diego

Be sure to view the full post to see all of the photos below!

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pre-trip update 1 – Maps

Maps ahoy!

I have been hard at work finding the best way to communicate where we currently are and where we are headed. Our current location can be seen on the location page and is updated every 15 minutes using a spot satellite GPS messenger that Tank is carrying.

Luckily for us Lon “Halfmile” Cooper has been hard at work since 2007 collecting GPS data from the trail and providing it for hikers on his website – Halfmile creates the¬†printable PCT maps that we are using to navigate the trail, and they aren’t just maps. Halfmile includes all the data about, water sources, campsites, towns, and generally all the information a (thru)hiker needs in a simple format, all free of charge!¬†To make organizing all that information manageable each state is split up into sections, each section designated by a letter, 29 sections in all.

The map below shows the first section of trail we will be hiking:

California – Section A

Total distance: 104.13 mi
Average speed: 2.73 mi/h

The map is interactive and displays an elevation profile in a nice blue graph. To see our current progress check the location page.

Planning an Epic Trek

Starting in Late April 2013 Justin “Tank” Zaccaro and I (Eric “Tweek” Jeffcoat) will travel across the country from Southern New England to Southern California where we will embark on a journey. From the start of a wilderness path in Campo, CA at the border of Mexico we will head north on foot, over 2,600 miles, along The Pacific Crest Trail.

The PCT’s Southern Terminus. The beginning (or end for some)
Photo by Alan Beneventi

The Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) passes through California, Oregon, Washington, and nine miles into Canada. According to the PCTA the trail climbs nearly 60 major mountain passes, descends into 19 major canyons, winds through 3 national monuments, 7 national parks, 24 national forests, and 33 federal wildernesses. More people have completed a summit of Mt. Everest than a thru-hike of the PCT.

In 2009 we completed a thru-hike of the 2100+ mile Appalachian Trail From Georgia to Maine. It was easy falling in love with the lifestyle, the expansive views, and the people. We learned how to travel lite, make lifelong friends out of strangers, and the true value of an all-you-can-eat restaurant.

Some lessons we had to learn the hard way. Lessons like “cookies and honey buns, although high in calories, are not a substitute for a well balanced diet” and “vines are not meant to be rope swings”.

Documentation is important and we know this will be an experience we want to re-live and remember forever.

Expect frequent updates here from the trail.