We spend much of our time on the Pacific Crest Trail walking quietly. We observe and enjoy our surroundings, living in the moment. In the same spirit, this post consists only of photographs, so you can view our journey without commentary.

Day 38: Agua Dulce (Mile 454.5)-Dowd Canyon (Mile 475.5), plus 1 mile from town to trail; 22 miles

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Day 39: Dowd Canyon (Mile 475.5)-Near Sawmill Campground (Mile 497.5); 22 miles

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Day 40: Near Sawmill Campground (Mile 497.5)-Los Angeles Aqueduct (Mile 521.5); 24 miles

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Day 41: Los Angeles Aqueduct (Mile 521.5)-Between Tylerhorse and Gamble Spring Canyons (Mile 544); 22.5 miles

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118 comments

  1. Dear Folks

    Greetings from down under. Your images and journey are gorgeous. Thanks for allowing us to follow along.

    Best wishes

    Noel and Ulrike

  2. I enjoy ALL your posts, with commentary and without. Your photos are always heart-lifting. Lindley and I drove through/near the country you are walking through in the beginning of April as we left the West Coast for our overland journey to North Carolina. We detoured actually, to see the Joshua Trees. The trees and rocks looked to me like cartoon characters invented by Walt Disney. I hope Chris gets a new pair of socks soon. xxx mg

    1. Thanks Mary, that is great to hear. And so cool that you got to see the Joshua trees — they really are crazy. They are actually in the yucca family, and you can see the resemblance, but you are right, they are cartoonish. Your road trip sounds like fun! And don’t worry, I just replaced the socks with the big hole.

  3. Hi Anna & Chris we have been avidly following your treck& now we are even following fon Madrid Spain
    We both would have loved to have done that hike ourselves so we follow your progress vicariously! Keep up the pace you’re heading to some beautiful sights . Pauline & Dan Cindy’s family

  4. Hey! I was just there, passed through the Mojave on the way to Grand Canyon with the kids over spring break. Saw all the wind turbines, etc. What a coincidence.

  5. Anna & Chris, is the giant seed pod, at least I am assuming that is what it is, that ultimately is decorated with your mini companion, similar to Wilson (volleyball) Tom Hanks carried around with him in Cast Away?? Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Our pet bird Cheep Cheep is perched on top of a huge pinecone in the 500 mile mark photo. She has some similarities to the volleyball Wilson, but we play and joke around with her wherever we are, whether that is in the woods or in our apartment. Don’t worry we aren’t going crazy like Tom Hanks!

    1. Thanks, it really is as awesome as it looks. It is quite difficult physically but worth all the effort. If at the end of every hike, you feel you want to keep going, and if you love mountains, this is a bucket list trail for sure.

    1. Thanks Katie, we never know what the next bend in the trail will bring, and that’s very exciting for us. We had to quit our jobs to hike the trail, as it will take us five months to complete the full 2650 miles of trail. As you might have guessed, we are very committed to this hike! It is amazing.

  6. And I always thought deserts were flat….How heavy are your packs when you are carrying extra water? Your mileage is getting up there! Part of that is muscle tone, I imagine, but less steepness as well?

    1. Some parts of the Mojave are flat, but not all. We are happy to get up high though, as it gets cooler the higher we get. We did have a flat section in the Mojave, and that made higher mileage easier. It’s still tiring to walk over 20 miles in a day though, even if they are flat miles. As we get stronger over time, it does become easier. But not easy!

      A liter of water weighs about two pounds, so when we are carrying 5 liters of water each, that’s 10 pounds each just in water.

  7. I love that you are obviously going the ultra-light route but are carrying a big-ass camera. Great style points and how I would do it if i could just get the ultra-light part dialed in. Dragging two little kids backpacking doesn’t exactly lend itself to the UL world. :) Anyway, as an AT thru-hiker I wanted to wish you guys the best of luck, great weather, full bellies and a wonderful journey. You’ll be forever changed in the best ways. Cheers! Alisa

    1. Cheers, Alisa! I pondered bringing a smaller camera, but realized the big one would be worth it since I’d be seeing so much, and I want to publish a book and create large prints as well. It does feel strange to be cutting extra straps off your pack to save weight, and then carry such a heavy camera, but we must sacrifice for our art, eh? :-)

      We have met a 9 year old and her mom on the trail, and they both travel light, so there is hope. But for younger kids than that, I have to agree, they are hard to carry and there is no way to lighten them!

      Anyway, thanks for the very kind wishes, and good luck in your own adventures. It’s great to be out walking!

      1. very cool on the mom and 9 yo. we are planning to hike the Wonderland Trail in August with what will then be our 4 and 9 year old. the 9 year old is a seasoned backpacking veteran…the four year old our spastic little wildcard, of course. not sure there are enough lollipops in the universe that will make her see the benefits of death-marching for 12 days. enjoy your peaceful, long, whining-free, barney song-free days while they last. ;)

  8. Enjoying your pictures and story…heard a bit from Anna’s mom over memorial day wknd about your R & R experience.
    Are you ever a wee bit sad as you are passing through such beautiful areas that you may never see them again? I think at times I would just want to sit and view some places longer (and journal with a cup of tea!! : )

    1. Yeah, I feel that we could spend a whole lifetime exploring each of these areas. We try to pick some of our favorite vistas for lunch or break spots, but you’re right that this long distance trip doesn’t allow for too much tea sipping. We may travel back to our favorite places on the PCT in future years, but my guess is that we’ll more likely keep exploring completely new areas, like our new home state of Colorado!

  9. hey guys, its Dancing Feet! are you in mojave/tehachapi? i’m in Mojave, gonna head out tonight, been here for 2 days, slackpacked the 8 miles in between the 2 hitches yesterday. stoked to see Cheep Cheep! i sent Butterstuff to foster care with the rest of his buddies from home.:( theres no way i can carry him along with all the other crap i’m carrying through the sierras. lol. so stoked, love your guy’s pics. aloha!! xoxo

  10. How wonderful these pictures and your journey. How do you manage to update your blog whilst doing this?

    1. Thanks Alex! We use our iPhones and the WordPress app. It works well as long as we can find a wireless signal, which isn’t always easy in the wilderness! We also have a solar panel to keep our phones charged, which works great.

    1. Good question! Often I have songs running through my head, over and over. For a while it was “Hotel California”, and there were some Beastie Boys lyrics and a Hootie and the Blowfish song as well. Sometimes I ponder about my life. Mostly though I pay attention to what is around me, because I don’t want to miss it. Also my photographs are better the more attentive I am.

  11. What a joy to follow some PCT hikers. As we have done it ourselves many years ago it feels as if we are invited no to do it again. I don’t have to tell you that it will change your life. I wish you so much luck.

  12. Traveling across New Mexico on our trips we see hundreds of the wind turbines…..they are absolutely amazing up close. From far away you just don’t appreciate their size. On one of our trips one of the blades was being transported and it took two lanes and was way longer than the vehicle carrying it which was actually longer than a normal semi

    1. Yes, they are incredibly large. It feels like being in the future to walk through a windfarm. It is heartening that so much money and effort is going into producing them, because there is such a pressing need for better ways to power our world. I wonder if the turbines will get even bigger in the future!

    1. Sometimes we refill our water at a creek, or sometimes at a spring that seeps out of rocks or the ground. Sometimes we get water from a tank, such as the round concrete structure you see in this post. Water is so scarce in the desert that we are very careful to carry enough to get us to the next water source.

      The stars are awesome for sure, though often we sleep before we can see them. Sometimes I will set an alarm and wake at 10 PM to take long exposures of the stars, then sleep again after that.

  13. Great pics!
    You have a great journey, and the Mojave is a beautiful place, so unique, thanks for sharing…

  14. WOW!! I am so happy you are freshly pressed because I may never have found this blog! Brings tears to my eyes!! beautiful journey! Thank you!

  15. I am always amazed by people who could do this. Beautiful photographs, and some are funny as well :D Great adventure guys! I enjoy and look forward to your next posts :)

    1. Thanks! It is cool to see so many people out here of different weights, ages, and sizes. It drives home how important the mental aspect is to completing something like this. If you are really determined, you can probably succeed. But even of you are a
      strong athlete, you will fail if you lose your drive.

  16. good day from south africa….that looks like an awesome journey……wish i was with you……fatty and i wish to do some thing similar around the southern african coast…but unfortunatly we have all this work and family responsiblity nonsense to take care of……oh and no money…..enjoy

    1. Cheers! We’ve heard there are some great trails in South Africa. It can be difficult but there are people with families and jobs walking the trail with us, so maybe you can figure something out. It’s also great to get out in nature and walk for a day or two, or a week, when you can! So refreshing, healthy, and inexpensive too.

      1. indeed the drakensburg are very very beautiful……we are moving southward and collecting all the hiking maps as we go……….unfortunate we can only go once or twice a year and the hiking has to be short overnights as we have kids with us…but not for ever…..

  17. Breathtaking, almost dreamy. It’s an exeperience similar to a mental trip in a place that seems so far away, it become magic. Very interesting, I think i shoul write something about those photos, and if I’ll do so I’ll be sure to link to this blog! Thank you!

  18. Amazing pics…The word jealousy does not even come close to what i feel by reading about your journey. Maybe maybe maybe I get to do something like this someday. Wish you all the best of everything on the rest of your journey….zman sends

  19. What an amazing adventure, and to be able to do it with your partner must be even more fulfilling. I’m sure you will create an even stronger bond through this trip :)

    1. Yes, definitely! It is wonderful to share an adventure, and also we support each other if one of us is having a bad day. A lot of people we meet on the trail have partners but the partner couldn’t or didn’t want to come. We are grateful to be able to do this together.

      1. That’s so amazing. My boyfriend comes with me backcountry camping every year now and it just makes for an even greater experience. I love it :)

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