Photos courtesy of Macro Hernandez
Marco Hernandez and Valerie Allen, both from East Carbon, took on a difficult task as they hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.
In a town called Campo, Calif. just 25 feet away from the Mexican border, the duo began their 2,659 mile hike on March 29.
The Pacific Crest Trail is claimed to be one of the most difficult trails one can hike. Passing through a total of three states, the trail is aligned with the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Due to the trail being thousands of miles long and mountain ranges being extremely high, the hike can be deemed dangerous to many who hike the trail. With two reported deaths on the trail just this year, the duo was not phased and was still dedicated to their journey.
While perusing the tremendous hike, Hernandez, 63, and Allen, 53, made up trail names for each other. Hernandez was given the trail name of “Marco Polo” while Allen was given “Tinkertoy.”
The nearly seven-month trip was full of unpredictable weather conditions and animal encounters. From the high snow levels and dangerous whitewater crossings of the Sierras to the continuous scrambling to avoid smoke and fires in Oregon, and not to forget the countless mosquito-infested areas and dozens of rattle snakes along the trail, the East Carbon hikers still trekked on while averaging a total of 25 miles per day.
“It will challenge every body muscle as well as your mental strength,” said Hernandez. “It is full of blood, sweat and tears, adrenaline rush and fear-awesomeness, peace and glory.”
After the duo traveled for miles, they finally made it to Manning Park Northern Pacific Crest Trail monument on Sept. 12, 2017. The monument is located adjacent to the Canadian border. Hernandez and Allen finally made it to their destination successfully after months of travel.
“I do not remember an easy day, but we will never forget the glorious sunrises, the inspiring views and the subliminal sunsets,” Hernandez said.