Moving on to the next adventure 📖

For the last five months we have been living in our tents. To have 4 walls, a ceiling, wifi, electricity, and running hot water has been quite the luxury the very few times we’ve had it. I could maybe count on my hands the times we’ve had all of those things at once since we started this. What a strange thing that when we return, we’ll have all of those things at once and it will be permanent. They will just all be around almost all the time. It’s gonna feel a little strange.

Our thoughts have been on our imminent return to the real world for the last few days. It is currently our second to last day on Kauai. Soon we will be back to Colorado and we’ll have to find jobs and housing and all that jazz. I’m sure a little while from now when I’m in a job working I’ll look back wistfully at good times like this very morning. It is 9:15 am and I am laying in a hammock, drinking a breakfast beer, and listening to waves crash on Polihale Beach.

I would definitely describe our feelings on returning as bittersweet. We’ve had a great time and a wonderful adventure. We have seen so much. We’ve traveled through 4 states, mostly on foot. We saw more of California than we ever wanted to see. We have been in desert, dry mountains, wet mountains, very high elevation mountains, cold northern beaches, and hot tropical paradise. And we have been free of the 40 hour workweek grind for almost 5 months now. It’s great to just do what you want when you want to do it.

But on the other hand we are quite ready to return to normal society and normal life. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows out here. We are ready to have normal hygiene. On the PCT we had terrible hygiene and never quite got used to it. And I mean terrible. The stink has still not quite left my armpits. Going camping for a week and not showering is one thing. Having poor hygiene for the long term is something else entirely.

Another thing we are excited for is the privacy of living in a house. It does get old sleeping in tents close to others in tents. You don’t get much privacy from strangers. That’s been interesting on Kauai. There’s a lot of tourists camped close by and plenty of permanently homeless camped nearby. There was an interesting morning recently when the always present chickens started crowing and woke the whole campground up at 4:30 am. This was a small campground with quite a few tents packed closely. It woke up this young couple who, as we realized the night before, did not understand how well sound travels when you’re in tents. So this couple started loudly talking and laughing. Then they got quiet, and then some strange noises starting issuing from their direction. It became very obvious to the whole campground what they were doing. Then they got louder, in ways I won’t describe in this blog. It was pretty uncomfortable, and another reminder of how nice it will be to be back in society.

But how will we feel when we are back in society, back indoors? No longer breathing the open air and hearing the sounds of nature all around. We have become very accustomed to this life. I’m not sure how it will feel, but I know it is time to return.

Overall, it has been a pretty amazing time. Not everything has been fun and easy, but that’s why it’s called an adventure. We have seen a great many things, met some very interesting people, and pushed our boundaries farther than ever. I can’t wait to see what life has in store next.

Happy trails.

Pinion and Sage

P.S We have more pictures from Kauai that we will be sharing once we get HOME! But please enjoy some of our favorites from the whole trip below.

Living Aloha


So we have been in Kauai for two and a half weeks. A dream vacation, the ultimate honeymoon. And we are just two brats who happened to land really cheap plane tickets here. What has it been like? Pretty much what you expect.

After months of hiking 20+ miles every single day, we have taken this time to do pretty much nothing. Our days have been filled with beach laying, hammock swinging, boogie boarding, snorkeling, beer drinking, shave ice eating, sand between my toes, and sticky sunscreen days. It’s been pretty rough 😉. Currently I am laying in a hammock looking out on Polihale beach drinking a beer at nine in the morning (As they say, it’s five o’clock somewhere). 🏝

When we decided to come to Kauai back in the desert on the Pacific Crest Trail we thought “the island is small we will be able to walk everywhere or hitch if need be”. It was easy on the PCT so why not in Kauai. What we didn’t think of was that the reason it was so easy on the PCT is because of the knowledge and culture surrounding the PCT. Everyone who lives around the PCT knows about it and wants to help hikers. It’s a little different in Kauai. In Kauai you are just another homeless vagabond living on beaches. Also, this a very tourist driven economy. They want the people who visit here to spend a lot of money. Rent a car, stay in a resort, buy merchandise. The amenities for the local people is poor. Either everything is very well taken care of and is priced accordingly, or is in very poor condition. Now, don’t get me wrong. We have had a blast in Kauai. But I am just saying that being a local here would be hard. Always having visitors get the very best and serving them as your profession.

So all that being said, we made the unplanned decision to rent a car. This made the trip a lot easier and a lot more fun. If you plan to vacation in Kauai in the future and camp we would definitely recommend renting a car. This has made seeing the island much more feasible and fun. We can do everything on our own time and for the first time in five months we can buy food that needs to stay cold! What a privilege! Sidenote: for anyone renting a car in the future we would recommend the app TURO. It is a lot like Air BnB but for cars. You rent a personal car from a local in the area and can save quite a bit of money.

So here has been some of our favorite things we have done in Kauai.

Best place to camp:

Polihale State Park

Koke’e State Park

Anini Beach

Prettiest Beach:

Polihale State Park

Secrets Beach

Best day-hiking:

Koke’e State Park

Best town:


Best food:

The Greenery

Pono Market

Jojo’s Shave Ice

Cafe Turmeric

Gina’s Anykine Grinds

Best snorkeling:

Anini Beach

Nualolo Kai

Lawai Beach

There is a lot you can do on Kauai. And it’s great that a lot of what you can do has been free. However we did do a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast. Which is said to be the best coastline in all of the world (it can be seen in the films Jurassic Park, King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, etc). This is one of the reasons we chose to come to Kauai, unfortunately a storm that happened back in April of 2018 wiped out the only road and the only trail you can take to see the Na Pali coast (big bummer for us!). That is why we did a boat tour, which is normally a pretty expensive activity. However, we got a buy one get one free tour. How did we get this? We did one of those notorious timeshare presentations, of course. Little did they know that we were homeless and unemployed. 😬 The tour was five hours long, and we decided to do a raft tour. This was supposed to be the most adventurous and physically demanding. We saw a pod of hundreds of spinner dolphins, sea turtles, and were able to go inside sea caves. It was a pretty cool tour. If anyone were to take a tour in the future I would highly suggest leaving from Hanalei on the North shore instead of Port Allen on the South shore. The Na Pali Coast was very beautiful and definitely worth the cost. Maybe we will be able to go back and hike it in the future.

The Na Pali Coast- from google

Snorkeling has been a lot of fun and there is quite a few beaches to snorkel at on Kauai. We have seen a variety of fish, jellyfish, and sea turtles! One of our favorite activities is just swimming on the beaches and catching the waves. And of course, sunsets here on Kauai are unbelievable!

Another thing that I would like to mention is all of the chickens. There are wild roaming chickens everywhere! On the hiking trails, the camp sites, and also in town. They actually are mostly in towns scavenging for left overs. With chickens being everywhere this means we wake up to their crowing promptly at 4:30 AM every morning and again at 6 AM 😑. They are pretty funny to watch though!

All in all it has been a pretty fun experience, but after five months we are ready to get home! We fly back to Colorado this Sunday the 23rd and we are very excited. So if any of our Colorado readers know of any jobs, hook a sista up!

A HUGE HUGE thank you to all of you who have helped us along the way. You have no idea what it means and how much it has helped us. You are all the real MVP’s! What an adventure of a lifetime.

That’s all I have for now, tune in for life after getting back to the real world! ( More pictures to come!)

Happy Trails!

Sage and Pinion

Aloha 🌴

Hello, guys. We’re sitting in a coffee shop in Hanalei, Hawaii. This morning we got up and went for a beachside run and exercise. Afterwards, we ate breakfast in our hammocks and listened to Jack Johnson. But before we get too much into Hawaii, it has been a little while since we checked in and a lot has happened.

First, we finished our hike of the PCT. We got into Cascade Locks on August 31. We triumphantly walked across the Bridge of the Gods (kind of a scary bridge to walk across) and we knew in our hearts that we were done with our very long walk. The last 80 miles of our hike was very nice. It was a little flatter and easier than much of Washington, though not quite as scenic. Then when we got into town, we had a victory milkshake to celebrate.

Soon after, Brenda, Amanda’s mom, arrived from Nebraska. We spent almost a week touring the Northwestern corner of Oregon. We spent some nights in Tillamook State Forest. We found some great dispersed camping right next to a nice stream in the middle of the forest. It was a very peaceful place to hang out with Brenda, lay in hammocks, and play Phase 10. We also checked out some pretty awesome Oregon beaches. We went to Cannon Beach, Nehalem Bay, and Rockaway Beach. Nehalem Bay State Park was our favorite. It was very scenic and didnt have very many people or business or any touristy stuff. Just some really pretty beach. Oh, and we also went into the factory where they make Tillamook cheese. I know that sounds pretty cheesy (no pun intended) but it was actually pretty cool. We also celebrated two years of marriage on September 3rd!! ❤️

And soon after it was time to part ways with Brenda and the mainland and to head to Hawaii. It was a long and uneventful day of flying and finally we arrived in Kauai! We’ve been spending a lot of time just relaxing around beaches. Unfortunately it has taken us a couple of days to figure how to do this whole homeless in Hawaii thing. Its a little different than the homeless PCT hiker lifestyle. But we’re getting things figured out. We’re just working our way around the island, seeing whats out there and what the little beach towns are like. So far Hanalei is my favorite. Soon we’ll have some stories about snorkeling and hiking!

Happy Trails!

Sage and Pinion

Trails to Beaches 🏝🌲

This trail is an interesting place. Everyone starts the trail with certain expectations and everyone has different experiences. Whether they meet your initial expectations or are completely different.

It is a small community where you meet a lot of people. You meet people of different ages, from different walks of life, and from many different places. We’ve met people from England, Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, and more. People from all over, here for different reasons.

During these months, life happens to a lot of people. Married couples decide to get divorces on trail, long term couples break up. We’ve actually personally known people that this has happened to. Other people meet on trail and eventually get married. Unfortunately, there was someone we met who recently passed away from natural causes while on trail.

But the trail does make you look at things from a different perspective. Several consecutive months of nothing but backpacking does that. I guess for some people it makes you realize you want change in your life. For others the trail makes them want to never return to normal life. After living so cheapely for months it’s hard to want to return to such a materialistic and money driven world.

However, for Amanda and I it has changed our perspective in an unexpected way. We have realized that “thru-hiking” is not for us. When we were preparing for this thru-hike we were looking forward to the adventure, the journey, the unknown and spending time in nature all the time.

But the “Thru-Hiker” life is a sport. It is about how far, how long, and how fast can you go. Hiking over 2,000 miles in several months is pretty tough and it requires you to hike all day every day. And so you aren’t allowed to just settle down and enjoy yourself in nature. You have to just go and go. You also don’t always feel secluded in wilderness. You are always surrounded by thru-hikers, backpackers, and other hikers. The PCT is well known and a lot of people want to hike it. So always being around people makes the wilderness experience less special.

So we don’t think we are going to continue thru-hiking in the future. We will absolutely backpack. And this trip has taught us a lot about good backpacking practices. But we will seek out the less known places and we will backpack our way.

This trail has changed our perspective in another interesting way. It has actually made us miss home a lot. When we left for the trail, we were ready for change. We liked the fact that after the trail, we could go anywhere and do anything we wanted. But now that we are approaching the end of the journey, we are ready to return to normal life. We do miss relaxing at home, cooking, watching tv, and eating ice cream. And we are so, so ready to have good hygiene again. Daily showers are a beautiful thing.

And so it’s time to announce the end of our hike, though not yet the end of this adventure. We have been planning for a while to leave the trail a little early. Back when we were hiking in the desert, we had a moment of weakness. We were hot, tired, and beaten down. We kept talking about how much more fun it would be to be laying on a beach somewhere. So we looked at our budget, then looked to see where and when we could fly for cheap. We ended up finding cheap tickets to Kauai, Hawaii in September. And so we planned to end our hike in Cascade Locks and fly to Hawaii!

So 80 miles from now we will conclude our thru-hike and soon after we’ll be off to Hawaii for four weeks. We will have hiked an even 2,000 miles in a little more than 4 months. Then we will be recovering on tropical beaches. We will live out of our backpacks, swim in the ocean, and lay in hammocks. We’ll keep posting to the blog and sharing pictures of course. Aloha!

Happy trails and beaches,

Sage and Pinion

Trail Daze

Trail daze- a week on trail

August 6th


Today I woke up in beautiful Stehekin, WA. A tiny “town” in the middle of the North Cascade Mountains on the shore of Lake Chelan. This is our first resupply town after getting into WA. We will be getting back on trail tomorrow after visiting the famous Stehekin Bakery.

August 7th

7:30AM-3:00PM 17 Miles

Because of a fire closure we will be taking a detour today around the PCT. This will only add 10 Miles. The detour will take us to Holden Village. Holden Village is a Lutheran summer camp in the middle of the forest( shoutout to all my mom’s friends who read this blog!). The detour trail was a difficult, unused, unmaintained trail with tricky footing. But imagine two former Lutheran camp counselors delight when we arrived to Holden Village and were greeted with open arms. They told to sit down and relax , have all the juice, coffee, tea, and cereal that we wanted. We stayed for their all you can eat dinner of brats, homemade bread and salad. Then we went to nightly worship and the ice cream that followed. It was wonderful. We camped at a forest service campground just outside of Holden.

August 8th

7AM-4:30PM 22 Miles

We had 11 miles left of the fire detour this morning before we were back on the PCT. The 11 Miles was all up hill to get over Cloudy Pass around a 4,000 foot climb. Then it was a steep downhill for the rest of the 10 Miles that we did today. We are camping out next to a river that is mostly bug free!

August 9th

6AM-5PM 25Miles

It was a rough one. We started out with 4,000 foot climb. At the top we got our first glimpse of Glacier Peak! Glacier Peak is way taller than all of the mountains around it and covered in you guessed it, glaciers. We then hiked a steep and overgrown trail back down the 4,000 feet just to hike back up to Red Pass with a 4,200 feet gain. Jumped into a freezing cold lake here with some other hikers. Back down 2,000 feet to our campsite at Red Creek.

August 10th

6:00AM-5:00PM 25 Miles

Today we got to start with a downhill looking at Glacier Peak all morning long. We went downhill underneath the shade of trees covered in moss and streams blue from glacial dust. Time to climb 5,000 feet up and over Fire Pass. Once on top we followed a ridge all the way to Lake MaryAnne where we stayed for the night.

August 11th

6:20AM-5:30PM 26 Miles.

Woke up to a misty, foggy morning. It was cold enough that we kept our down jackets and rain jackets on all morning. Today was a long 26 miles of continual up’s and down’s. Lots of day hikers on trail as we get close to trail. We woke up wet and cold and went to bed wetter and colder. But alas, tomorrow is town day!

August 12th

7AM-7:50 3 Miles.

We arrived to Stevens Pass by 8AM and got a hitch to the town of Leavenworth by 9 AM. Leavenworth is a quaint Bavarian themed town. We had our fill of brats, pretzels, and beer! Staying at a KOA to rest and resupply.

August 14th

3ish Miles?

Well we are resupplied and ready to hit the trail again. I am currently sitting in a ski resort lodge waiting for my batteries to charge and then we will head back up the mountain to find a place to rest for the night.

Exciting news on our front. Amanda’s Mom will be visiting us on trail September 1-6! We are looking forward to hanging out and catching up! Thanks for being you, Mom!

And for all of my Lutheran friends or anyone who enjoys nature and seclusion, do yourself a favor and check out Holden Village. It was amazing and tempted us to quit trail and just volunteer at Holden Village for the rest of our time. Maybe in the future?

Until next time,

Happy Trails

Sage and Pinion


We made it! After an entire week off, 20 hours on the road, and a lot grace from many trail angels we finally made it to Washington state.

We descended down to I-5 near Dunsmuir, CA in a complete haze of smoke on July 25th. The smoke had appeared a few days before and with no cell service had us worried. Upon arrival we got first news of the Redding, CA fire just down the road and the many other fires in CA. After taking a zero day and talking to many locals we decided that we were going to make the flip up to Washington. The smoke was getting very thick making for miserable hiking but also the temperatures had been hitting 100 degrees for the past two weeks. Let me tell you first hand, hiking 25+ miles a day in a sweltering 100 degrees is not very much fun.

We had to kill a few days in the town of Mt. Shasta to wait for our Greyhound bus. Mt. Shasta is a small tourist town full of hippies and outdoor enthusiasts. We received many aids including, free camping, showers in a retail store, coffee, and free movie tickets! Again, the generosity of people we have met on the trail is unbelievable.

We also made a phone call to our very first trail angels who had given us a hitch all the way back in Julian, CA. Back then in late April, Dave and Beth were visiting California from their home state of Washington. They gave us our very first hitch, took us to lunch, and told us to call them when we made our way to Washington. After keeping in touch we let them know we were flipping up and we would be heading their way sooner than anticipated. After receiving a “can you call me” text, Dave and Beth offered to drive us to Canadian border if we could make our way to Olympia, WA.

So we made our way to Olympia on the Greyhound bus. After 13 stinky and uncomfortable hours on the bus we made it to Olympia. We then spent a very comfortable night and a day hanging out with Dave and Beth. They showed us the town and we ate some great food. Then they very generously drove us all the way up to Mazama. And from a pass near Mazama we started hiking again.

So we escaped the fires in California. And now we have run into more fires in Washington. I guess this is how things are in the West right now. So now we are working out our logistics and figuring out our way around the fire closures. But the climate in Washington is far better. It’s chilly, less smoky, and the fires are much smaller. And not to mention, the scenery is pretty fantastic.

We just went to the monument on the Canadian border and now we are on our way southbound. Can’t wait to see the rest of Washington!

Happy Trails,

Sage and Pinion

Flipping up to Washington

Hi all!

We have not been very good at updating the blog lately. It has been difficult to find a good WiFi connection anywhere in Northern California! But please enjoy some pictures below of the lush, rolling, green landscape of NorCal.

However, we did want to update everyone that we will be flipping up from Mt. Shasta, where we currently are, up to the border of Canada and Washington. It is super hot and dry in NorCal and Oregon and wildfires are popping up everywhere. The smoke is thick. All of it combined makes for some crappy and dangerous hiking conditions. So we’re going to Washington where things should improve. We’ll be hiking southbound.

Fun facts from the past couple of weeks!

1. Corey celebrated his 25th birthday on trail a few days ago!

2. We saw a black bear and a rattlesnake in the same day.

3. We got to stay in a “micro trailer” the other day that was barely big enough for two people to sleep in. It has air conditioning and we stayed in that tiny box ALL day long.

4. We recently started listening to podcasts on trail. So if any of you have favorites drop us a comment!

5. We saw a black widow that had captured a beetle the size of a mouse. ( picture below!)

Happy Trails!

Sage and Pinion

Anecdotes from the trail

Hi all! We have just enough service to make a post but not enough service to post pictures. So please enjoy some of our favorite odd/funny moments from the trail.

1. Hee-Haw Lady AKA Mrs. Jackass

So there we are in the middle of nowhere SoCal, and I mean the middle of nowhere. The town was called Warner Springs if you could call it a town. There was a post office, a fire department, a school, and a community center. There was nothing else, not even residences. It was just surrounded by a lot of farming and ranching. We were doing what hikers do after their first one hundred miles of trail, not moving. Some old lady with white hair drives up in a huge silver Dodge pickup. She, Mrs. Jackass, stops with the window rolled down, picks Corey out of the crowd and stares him straight in the face. She then starts hee-hawing loudly like a donkey. And not just hee-hawing but hee-hawing accurately like she’s had years of practice. She continues doing this while staring Corey directly in the face for a good 30-40 seconds. I (Amanda) disturbed by the situation actually hid behind a tree. Then an old man, presumably Mr. Jackass, walked up to the truck and Mrs. Jackass starts busting a gut laughing while pointing at us. Then Mrs. Jackass offers us a ride to the post office, which we politely declined.

2. If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

Again, there we are in the middle of nowhere ( we seem to spend a lot of time there on this trail) eating lunch in a very dry forest. We had just sat down under some trees in the shade to escape the heat. We brought out our sitting pads, got our food ready, and put electrolytes in our water while paying no mind to the small dead tree behind us. And why should we, we literally pass dozens and dozens of them every single day. So imagine our surprise about twenty minutes later when we hear a large crack and a thump behind us. We turn around and this previously standing dead tree is now laying on the ground not four feet away from us. It happened so fast we didn’t have time to turn around and see it before it hit the ground. We counted our lucky stars that the tree decided to fall in a direction away from us. And yes, when a tree falls down in the woods it does make a sound.

3. Don’t expect privacy on the PCT

So there we are in the middle of nowhere with a road next to us this time. It was shortly after the small mountain town of Mt. Laguna. It was getting late, and we were ready to camp so we were walking quickly down the trail. We walked right next to a lookout point with a parking lot right off the highway. Not 500 feet down from the parking lot on the PCT we see a mans feet sticking out of the bushes. He bursts out of the bushes and pulls his pants up as quick as he can. Soon we realize there’s another pair of feet sticking out of the bushes. These two belong to a woman lying on the ground, she is also trying to get dressed as quickly as she can. Amanda feeling awkward keeps walking, without hesitating, without looking, just goes. The couple feeling very embarrassed blurt out their apologies. And we just kept on moving. See ya, maybe don’t do that right on a trail?

4. Oh, shit!

So there we are at the Middle Fork of the Feather River. It was a beautiful spot with warmer water, a gentle current, and deep pools. We had just finished swimming and Corey was drying off and getting dressed. He had just finished chatting amiably with another hiker who was just heading in for a dip. Suddenly a deafening crack sounded in the canyon. Corey jumped and wildly looked around the canyon. He checked his pants to make sure he didn’t have to clean them off in the river and then looked around for the source of the noise. Were boulders falling down the canyon? Did something just happen to the big steel bridge that crossed the river? Did a lighting bolt just come out of the clear blue sky? No, none of these things were happening, so what did it? Soon, Corey saw what was actually the second military fighter jet doing practice runs low over the canyon. Soon a second deafening crack sounded over the canyon. All of the hikers looked around at each other and laughed as they realized that there was no threat. Meanwhile I (Amanda) was picking myself up off the ground from the sound of the first crack and the realization of what was happening.

We will check back in with you guys in a hundred and forty miles!

Sage and Pinion