Skip to content

25% Off Pacific Crest Trail Photo Book

2014-sale-v9

Happy Holidays! Our Pacific Crest Trail coffee table book is now on sale for 25% off. This is our biggest sale ever! The book makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys hiking, nature, or art. Click the “Buy Now” button above to purchase, or visit our book page to learn more.

Sale ends December 19th.

10 Ways “Wild” Rang True and 10 Ways it Strayed

The movie Wild will soon draw many new day hikers, section hikers, and thru hikers to the Pacific Crest Trail. With the release of the movie, we decided to compare Cheryl Strayed’s hike to an actual Pacific Crest Trail thru hike from Mexico to Canada. Here are 10 ways the movie was true to our PCT thru hiking experience, and 10 ways it strayed from the path.

Wild was right about:

Adventure. One reason thru hiking is so great is that it’s a big adventure. Every day on the trail there are unexpected moments, surprising encounters with animals and people, or incredible new landscapes. The movie got this right — a thru hike isn’t always easy, but it’s exciting and new.

Crossing a creek on the PCT

Crossing a creek on the PCT

Trail angels. We’ve never received so much kindness from strangers as we did during our PCT thru hike. Called “trail angels” in the hiking community, these wonderful people offer free food, places to sleep, showers, rides to trailheads, and anything else a hiker might desire.

Timberline Lodge buffet

Hiker hunger. A thru hiker needs to eat about 4000 calories every day, which results in a ravenous appetite. Everything tastes good, and more of everything tastes better. We even started calling peanut M&Ms “magic energy gems”. After eating lots of dehydrated food, fresh fruit is an object of special desire. A ripe peach, as Cheryl was seen eyeing in Wild, will blow your mind.

Trail registers. Thru hikers use trail registers to keep track of each other, share wisdom, and leave a bit of laughter for those who follow on the trail. Some hikers leave quotes like Cheryl did, while others write whatever comes to mind.

Hitchhiking. Thru hikers have to hitchhike occasionally in order to reach towns where they can resupply. When we hitchhiked we met all types of people. As with the Hobo Times scene in Wild, it’s true, people do mistake thru hikers for homeless people.

Wildlife. Spend enough time in the wilderness and you will encounter wild animals. Rattlesnakes are no joke, but their distinctive rattle makes their presence known so you can scoot by at a safe distance, just as Cheryl does in the film. On our thru hike, we also saw several bears, many eagles and hawks, elk, mountain goats, a scorpion, a marten, and much more — but not a single fox, sorry Cheryl.

Read more

Free Pacific Crest Trail Calendars!

Free Pacific Crest Trail calendar included with the first 15 PCT photo book orders received, starting right now!

Pacific Crest Trail Book and Calendar

Pacific Crest Trail book and calendar

The calendar features images from our coffee table book, Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs. We’re honored to work with Shapco (the same company that printed our book) to create this calendar. Based in Minneapolis, Shapco prints books and art exhibition catalogs for some of the top museums and galleries in the world. Their print quality is second to none. They also understand that sustainability is key, printing on environmentally friendly paper using wind-powered presses.

Having seen and loved our photographs while printing the book, Shapco approached us asking if they could print a calendar for their clients using some of the same photos. We just received the final result, and it’s beautiful. This calendar will make you feel like you’re out on the trail every day with its grand landscapes, subtle details, and perfect color fidelity.

Hanging PCT calendar

Hanging PCT calendar

And of course, our book is of the same high quality as the calendar. It’s even 25% off for the holidays right now. For more information on the book, to view sample pages, and to order, please visit our Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs book page. The 2015 PCT calendar is a great bonus that you can’t get anywhere else.

Thank you for doing your holiday shopping with us instead of at the big box stores!

Note: We aren’t selling this exclusive calendar individually. If you already have our PCT book, but want the calendar, now is the time to gift the book to your favorite Wild fan or hiking buddy.

Wild Movie Review

The new movie Wild depicts a woman’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since we hiked the whole 2660-mile trail in 2012, we were curious about it and thought you might be too. Anna’s brother Joe Sofranko and his girlfriend Lili Fuller saw Wild on opening day in Los Angeles and kindly wrote this review for us.

Joe and Lili offer a unique perspective on the movie because they work in the film industry. They recently produced and directed Complete Works, a funny indie web series on Hulu about a Shakespeare competition. Not only that, but they have read every word of our Pacific Crest Trail thru hike blog entries, and even hiked the PCT with us for a day in Southern California.  Here’s what they thought about Wild:

Cheryl Strayed needed a change. Recently divorced, a recovering heroin addict, a victim of her father’s domestic abuse, having just terminated an unwanted pregnancy, and still grieving over her mother’s much-too-soon death, the 26-year-old Cheryl has had her fair share of emotional trauma. Seeking clarity, she determinedly (yet somewhat cluelessly) embarks on a journey on the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. Based on Strayed’s best-selling and Oprah-approved memoir, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” the movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, brings to life the true story of her 1,100 mile journey. Told with humor and emotional depth, the film—while not at all a guide to successfully hiking the PCT—is a tale of a woman finding acceptance and peace by immersing herself in the unknown.

Read more

Teton Crest Trail Day 5

North Fork Cascade Canyon to String Lake Trailhead (11 miles)

We scrambled up onto a large boulder overlooking our campsite and ate breakfast. We packed the remaining food into our now almost empty bear can, just enough for our final day in this awesome backcountry.

Campsite in North Fork Cascade Canyon

Chris’s altitude headaches and fatigue from previous days were completely gone. He was thankful to be back to normal.

A storm loomed in the forecast, so we packed up a little earlier than usual. We wanted to make sure to cross Paintbrush Divide, our high point for the day, before the storm broke loose. Marmots basked in the sunlight as we set off.

Marmot

Lake Solitude, though early in our day’s walk, was so nice that we opted to stop and and enjoy the view for a while. The water was clear enough to watch fish moving in its depths.

Read more

Teton Crest Trail Day 4

Sunset Lake to North Fork Cascade Canyon (8 miles)

The fourth day of our honeymoon backpacking trip greeted us with a glorious sunny sky once again. We ate and packed up. Chris was feeling much better — not perfect, but definitely improved from yesterday’s altitude headaches and fatigue.

We left Sunset Lake around 9:30 and headed north on the Teton Crest Trail. Today’s scenery remained impressive. In fact, we think it got better. Just 5 minutes into the day, we walked through an amazing wildflower patch. Anna was beaming.

Walking through a wildflower patch on the Teton Crest Trail

We climbed, pausing to take photos. Or maybe photography breaks were an excuse to catch our breath.

Climbing away from Alaska Basin

As we neared Hurricane Pass, the Grand Teton poked out dramatically over the ridge.

Read more

Teton Crest Trail Day 3

Death Canyon Shelf to Sunset Lake (4 miles)

The sun hit our tent. We quickly woke and crawled out, eager to see the light pour into the canyon below us.

Chris stretching on Death Canyon Shelf

It’s not every day you wake up on the edge of a canyon. We drank in the view, then went back in the tent and enjoyed our honeymoon suite.

Campsite on Death Canyon Shelf

Campsite on Death Canyon Shelf

It was a hard campsite to leave, but we did have a few miles to cover. We ate breakfast, packed up, and started walking.

Read more

Teton Crest Trail Day 2

Marion Lake to Death Canyon Shelf (5 miles)

On the second day of our Teton Crest Trail honeymoon hike, we slept in and had a leisurely morning. Breakfast by Marion Lake was tasty. Food always seems to be extra delicious in the backcountry. The scenery was hard to beat!

Marion Lake

Marion Lake

We weren’t the only ones enjoying a lakeside breakfast. As we ate, Chris spotted movement on the far shore. It was a mother and baby moose. As Mom ripped and munched on leafy shrubs, her youngster plopped down in the mud nearby. We’re guessing this was the same pair we had spotted from across the valley yesterday.

Moose by lake

Moose by Marion Lake

After breakfast, we packed up camp and started hiking north. A short but steep uphill got our blood flowing.

Read more

Teton Crest Trail Day 1

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you know a beach honeymoon isn’t our style. Instead we decided to hike the Teton Crest Trail and visit the Canadian Rockies. We made sure to keep things somewhat relaxed, though. One of our gifts to ourselves was to delay blogging until we got home. In the next few weeks we’ll be doing some blog catch up from the honeymoon, which took place from late August through mid-September.

On a cold rainy Monday morning in August, we waited for the Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park to open. At 8 AM sharp we eagerly handed our desired Teton Crest Trail itinerary to the backcountry ranger. We were in luck and snagged one of the few first-come first-serve permits! Our five-day Teton Crest Trail hike would begin the following day.

Day 1: Rendezvous Mountain to Marion Lake (6 miles)

Early Tuesday morning we drove to the String Lake trailhead, where we planned to finish the hike. A local taxi company shuttled us to our starting point, the tram in Teton Village. Everything went smoothly, except the weather wasn’t cooperating. Thick dense clouds clung to the mountains, making us realize that we might not get much visibility for the day.

We ate breakfast, got tickets, and rode the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, elevation 10,449 feet. This was another honeymoon treat — without the tram, we’d have been doing the 4,139 foot climb on foot, with five days of food on our backs.

Tram from Teton Village

Tram from Teton Village

Wonderfully, by the time we reached the top, the clouds had burned off. After exiting the tram we found a small sign that said “Top of the World”. It looked like it. After a few pictures, we were off, and feeling great!

Read more

Married at Maroon Bells!

We both woke earlier than normal on the morning of our wedding day. We were nervous about being the center of attention, and apprehensive but hopeful that everyone would have a good time at our non-traditional wedding. The good news is that we weren’t worried at all about marrying each other!

Crawling out of our tent early in the morning with our pet bird Cheep Cheep

After some breakfast, it was time to get ready for the ceremony. Chris had it easy. He dunked his head in Maroon Creek, rustled his hands through his hair and called it done. Lili and Cindy took more time and care doing Anna’s hair up. They even added in a few white flowers.

Lili and Cindy putting up Anna's hair

Lili and Cindy putting up Anna’s hair

Chris’s suit had been hanging in the van to keep it wrinkle-free. When Chris saw it, he decided to change into his wedding outfit right there in the van since it had more headroom than our ultralight tent!

Chris getting ready in the cargo van (photo by Kent Meireis)

Chris getting ready in the cargo van

Anna slipped her dress on near the creek in the privacy of the trees. As we mentioned in our previous post, there had been a lot of rain the last few days. Today was as clear as could be and we were thrilled. The whole group happily applied sunscreen.

Applying sunscreen (photo by Kent Meireis)

Applying sunscreen

We then all left the Silver Queen Campground and headed up to the Maroon Bells amphitheater for the ceremony. Chris’s sister Becky played Wild Mountain Thyme on the concertina as we walked down the path into the amphitheater with our parents.

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,671 other followers