Hiking With Jason

Detached From Reality

Day 96: Fin

Day 96 – 8/8/16

Timberline Lodge 2094.47

I woke up sick. Sore throat and the beginning of what is my yearly chest cold that I always seem to get. There is no way I would be able to hike if it progressed like it usually does. I made the hard decision to end the hike (again.) I was afraid that I would be 20+ miles from an exit and unable to hike due to having coughing fits.  I checked out how to get home and saw that it was a fairly easy bus ride into Portland where I could catch a flight home. I was torn on whether I was actually upset. I really enjoyed the last couple days hiking with my friends but the thought of heading back out there alone for another 600 miles just didn’t seem fun. I felt as if I got what I needed and wanted out of the hike. I walked 1,700 miles. That in itself is an accomplishment. I may not be the thru-hiker I set out to be but I’m OK with that.

Going into the hike I criticized people that quit, especially those who got so close to the end. Now that I’ve walked 1,700 miles in their shoes I get it. It’s hard. I’m tired. I’ve never been so tired in my life. I’m tired of every aspect of the hike. The thought of having another crushed Pop-Tart, peanut butter, and bar makes me gag a little. With that said I’m going to miss it. I want to come back and finish up the trail in shorter 2-3 week sections. I’d love to get the band back together (5 Star and Tami) and do some hiking.

I texted Mayfly to see if she was still up for breakfast. She was camped out just outside the lodge at that big camp spot where the crazy lady looking for her husband was. I told her she should come take a shower and then we can go stuff our faces. I met her in the lobby and we headed back to the room. She took a shower and then we went to breakfast. It was pretty good. It was a buffet that had all your standard breakfast food. They had a variety of fruits and whip cream for the waffles.  I didn’t stuff my face too much since I wasn’t feeling well and swallowing was getting hard.

We went back up the room and grabbed our stuff and then I checked out. Said goodbye to the sweetest puppy dog in the world who was fast asleep behind the counter. Her paws were twitching. Dreaming away getting chased by bunny rabbits. I asked Mayfly if she wanted to come with me to Portland but she said she had a package she needed to get in Cascade Locks so she is just going to do the hike and then see what she wants to do. I said goodbye to her and then headed over to where the bus would pick me up to take me to Portland.

The bus showed up 15 minutes later and an hour and half and one bus change later I was on the outskirts of Portland getting on the lightrail to take me to the airport. Since I bought my ticket at the last minute through South West I wasn’t able to get a boarding number until I went up to the gate. They gave me my boarding pass and I was C24. Great, I’m going to be dead last on the plane. The plane starts boarding and luckily I wasn’t last. I was third from last! I walk on to the plane and there is an aisle seat in the first row! What?! That’s the best seat on the plane! I asked the older lady with her grandson if it was open and she said it was. I sat down and was pretty excited to have the seat. Shortly after take off I fell asleep for an hour. I woke up and was a bit surprised I had actually fallen asleep for so long. I never sleep on a plane.

The plane landed, I picked up my pack from baggage claim, and then my mom picked me up. We had dinner and then she dropped me off at my house. I was happy to be home and to be done. Since being home I haven’t done much. I started looking for a job and have a couple opportunities lined up. I also did some work on my 1967 Mustang. I enjoyed having a small project to occupy my time. One realization I had on the hike was that I want another project vehicle. I spent a lot of time thinking about what cars I would like.

I had dinner with Jeremy and got to see my beer with the label on it! So cool! He is also making an IPA that he is going to name Mangus Fail Ale.


I’m sure this post comes as a disappointment to some of you. I never expected that I would get so many people reading this blog and for all the wonderful comments. I would have loved to been able to post an entry of me at the Canadian border but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I probably could have kept on going and just dealt with it but I didn’t want to risk it. My hiking career isn’t over and when I do make it back to the trail for the sections I missed I definitely will post here.  I’ve received  a lot of praise about my writing, which I did not expect. I’d like to continue it somehow and so I’ve been kicking around ideas of what to do. It may be hiking related or it may be something completely different.


  1. I will miss your posts. Hope you find new adventures in writing.

  2. Thanks for sharing! this is my #1 PCT blog of the year no doubt

  3. Hiking 1,700 miles through all those conditions? An amazing accomplishment. No disappointment. How do I get a case of that Wrong Tent Oatmeal Stout?

  4. Well done Jason! An amazing accomplishment. I really enjoiyed your blog – well written, perceptive, and with a delicious sense of humour. Please keep on writing!

  5. well done. It has been fun.

  6. Enjoy each and every posting. Thank you and thanks for the inspiration.
    All the very best to you.

  7. Thanks for sharing your hike, I really enjoyed reading your posts!

  8. Well done Jason. 1700 miles really is an accomplishment. These long trails are hard and a person has to experience it to understand. Thank you for taking us along. I very much enjoyed your posts. Keep posting with future trips. How is that Wrong Tent Stout? Best to you, Michael

  9. You’re right, what you did is already a great accomplishment! Take care of your health, and enjoy the last miles next year… it will have a different flavor and you might enjoy it more and gain different experience and knowledge from it than if you had finished this year. And you will have hiked it through! I hope you can hike again with the friends you met this year.
    Thank you for taking us on your journey…from Germany I enjoyed the pics and reading as you were a few days ahead of my son, Early Bird.
    All the best to you and your dog!

  10. Thanks so much, Jason, for finding the time and energy to keep writing about your hiking adventures everyday even though you must’ve been exhausted. You’ve accomplished something most people will never get a chance to experience! Bravo!! I wish you all the best in whatever adventure you seek next and am sure you’ll conquer that too. I must selfishly add that I will miss your blog as it was my “dirty little secret” that I looked forward to reading everyday at work! Because of you, I’m still hoping to give the trail a try in 2017 (as a section hiker) as you’ve made me rethink my strategy with a healthy dose of reality God bless.

  11. Congrats on that huge accomplishment!! I will miss your posts! Would love to get a pack of the Wrong Tent beer too 😀

  12. Jason
    You brought the trail to life for me. Incredible pictures and a very descriptive narrative. Your blog was one I looked forward to reading everyday at lunchtime. Thanks once again

  13. Good for you! Your health is the most important. $1,700 miles, wow! I am so proud of you. You are the family hero. Take care of your self. I love you, Jas.

  14. Affirmative, I’m SELFISHLY disappointed. I was living vicariously through you. Pulling for you to finish. I feel like I’m alone on the trail even though I never left my comfortable home. Like I have mentioned before, I have been thinking of doing PCT next year. But honestly I’m kind of a afraid and intimidated-two feelings I rarely have in life. I’m afraid to quit. So I was really pulling for you to show me how not to quit. Sorry for my selfish fantasy. Maye it’s just that I’ll miss you b/c it feels like I know you. BUT hey… thxs for taking all the time to write about your experiences and keeping us entertained at the expense of your physical and mental challenges along the way. I mean only an UNselfish person would take the time to write after a day’s hard work EVERY DAY. It says a lot about your character! I’ve really enjoyed your detailed daily inputs. It really gave me insight into what I’m up against if I do this. I mean if tough guys like you and others could not finish (for whatever reason)… damn… I might not have a prayer. It makes me realize just how hard of a commitment it really is! I’m in no position to offer advice, but next year (or whenever you go back), you should start from where you left the trail the first time to go home. It would be like 1/2 trail this year, 1/2 trail next year. Anyways… I’m sorry you got sick and couldn’t live the dream this time. Things happen. Things change. And I’m sure you have changed a lot about yourself from this mighty journey. The trail will always be there. And I think your heart will always be there. AND hell, you did 1,700 more miles of the PCT that I’ve ever done. Score: Jason-1,700 K-0. Thxs again and may you find the next phase in life brotha!

    • Thanks for reading! Just because I didn’t finish doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able too. Also, in the end it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to finish if you got what you wanted out of the hike. Plus, there is always next year! I hope you go through and hike it next year. You won’t regret it!

  15. Wonderful trail blog and excellent accomplishment. Congratulations and best wishes. – Jeff C.

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