A mile in their shoes Walking 2700 miles from Mexico to Canada isn't for the faint of heart. When Connor and Mike told Kameron they were going to quit their desk jobs and through-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, he didn't really know what to think. Read his story below.

Words and images by kAMERON hARPER

As I set out to see my old friends from college who were through-hiking the PCT I didn’t really know what to expect. Coming in cold off the couch with an ‘office body’ and fresh off an 11-hour drive, I wasn’t really sure how I’d make it through the next few days on the trail. I’d seen pictures of Connor and Mike from a few weeks before, long hair, shaggy beards and salty around the edges. When they left to hike the PCT back in March I knew they would finish. There’s a funny conviction they each possess where when they tell you something, not matter how big or small, you know they’ll follow through. Maybe that’s how I knew Mike was serious when I texted him I was an hour away from Crater Lake National Park and he replied, “I’m 7 miles away, I’ll start jogging” (he’d already laid down 14 miles that morning).

When I finally ran into Mike a few hundred yards up the trail, I remember thinking that he looked homeless, full of life and excited to be wrapping up a long 20+ mile day to resupply at the village. We shared a cold trail beer I brought on my quick hike out and walked back to the car where I’d shuttle him a mile down the road to the Mazama Village Campground. Before we could get into the car we were met by a hiker who was from Los Angeles, she’d been walking in the same pair of shoes since mile 1. She was trying to set a record for longest distance in a single pair of shoes (somewhere around mile 2,000 was the unofficial PCT record), she was well on her way.

1800 miles and counting...

1800 miles and counting...

As I drove Mike down to the campsite I couldn’t help but think, “What the heck did I get myself into?”. What I found out over the course of the next three days on the trail was nothing short of incredible. Trail friends, chafe, blisters, dirt and all; I emerged three days later feeling like I had somehow experienced all of the things that make through-hiking the PCT special into an abridged 32 mile weekend trip.