Alaska and Points South

April 4th Phil and I left Alaska to drive south to Southern California, tomorrow we will start our hike north on the Pacific Crest Trail and after that return south again along the Pacific Coast Highway via bike with a packraft in tow. A hefty endeavor and one I’ve thought about every moment I’ve fallen asleep and woke for the past year. Here we are, we have arrived and after tomorrow we can at the very least say we’ve attempted hiking the length of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Departing Alaska


The past three weeks have been a blast, however I will be ever so happy to park my trusty Subaru Outback and not see her for the next six to seven months. Instead my mode of transportation will be ever slower and more calculated. On our drive down we had to replace the rear two wheels and that was a sign to me to go slow, take your time on the rough patches of road or you just might have a blow out. These next months are not about going fast but truly about making sure the load doesn’t exceed it’s limit. Hard to say after we just packed our backpacks yesterday and with 20 miles worth of water (first water source on PCT) my bag is topping out at 50 pounds. But as my Subaru rolled over to 200,000 miles in a beautiful canyon along US Route 95 between the Glen Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park in Utah I’m reminded that with the proper care and maintenance this will be a successful trip!

200,000 miles.. Roadside party to celebrate? Hey, Why Not!

Phil and I have been incredibly blessed to receive such love and support along the way from friends and family. Chad, Christy and their little girl Quinn received us in Seattle and will be storing our bikes and gear until we return after the hike. While in Seattle getting new tires we got to catch up with an old college friend Mikey and his wife Sherri and their little one Dylan as well as Alaskan friend Jessica Matthews. Portland was a blast exploring and what made it even better was staying with Nicole, Sam and their boy Tyler in Scappoose, OR. They’re in the process of starting a farm and it was exciting to visit their property. We took a detour to Boise to visit our brother Pete and his kids Bella and Gavin for a weekend. We had a blast with the kids and a special thanks to Pete for agreeing to store my cargo trailer for the rest of the trip. Another detour through Utah and a quick stop to stay and visit with a good friend from my Denali days Theresa in Salt Lake City. That visit was far too short! After taking the week to tour the amazing parks in southern Utah (Thank You, National Park Week, Free Entry All Week!!) we arrived in San Diego on April 23rd to be received by Alaskan friends Jeff, Penny and their little ones Rowan and Declan. They have been fabulous hosts and I’m not sure who’s more excited about us hiking the the trail us or them. Penny and Jeff will be instrumental during our trip as they will have our maps and gear resupply. A HUGE thank you to them for taking on this big task, thank you so much for the support and love you’ve shown us.

Looking up at Angels Landing Zion NP


Yeah… We hiked that!

A very BIG thanks also goes out to everyone who has supported us with kind words, texts, emails, phone calls and financially. Phil is feeling much more as peace with all the kind donations to his Go Fund Phil account to help him complete this hike. Thank you to all those who have donated to my Charity Cause and as we start our hike tomorrow all of you will be in our thoughts.


What my backpack feels like


Much love



3 thoughts on “Alaska and Points South

  1. katie harris says:

    Hey there! I’m hoping to get a package to you at Big Bear in a couple of weeks. Biodegradable toilet paper, check. letters of encouragement, check. small edibles: ??? candy, trail mix, granola bars, portillos hot dog in a box (hot dogs are small, right?), homemade cookies, beef jerky…i’m at a loss for what that could mean. Is there anything you won’t eat at this point, any allergies to be concerned about, a favorite you’re already missing? give me some clues, blue!


    • lebaranko says:

      Katie!! Wow! Thanks much. No allergies here, we’re Barankos and eat just about anything! It’s awesome of you to think of us and we can wait to let our feet hit the ground here in a few hours!


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