Even though we were both on the PCT in 2015, I didn’t actually meet Spoon until January 2016, when I helped shuttle some people home after the annual group San Diego Trans-County Trail hike. We hit it off immediately – his high energy, infectious positivity, and deadpan humor make him a joy to be around, and I consider him some of my closest trail family. Ironically, we didn’t even hike together for the first time until November 2017, when we finally got on trail and did a little section of the PCT near Idyllwild. Always looking forward to the next random adventure – you never know where this guy will pop up next!

Name / Trail Name: Landon “Spoon” Rosenthal

What’s your primary activity on public lands? Long-distance backpacking

What do you do when you’re not adventuring? I enjoy rock climbing, tromping in the snow, dispersed camping, scuba diving, sky diving, and road trips. Also, nerding out on maps.

Why is the PCT special to you? This is where I got my trail legs, cut my eye teeth, and flipped the script to my life. It is my sanctuary, school house, playground, dancehall, gym, and a place for me to drop some mental base weight. I am a 10-year army veteran and the PCT, you could say, saved my life. I had a very rough transition back to civilian life: divorce, alcohol abuse, anger issues, loss of my faith in humanity, no sense of who I was. It was on the trail that I learned how to get past the obstacles in my life and started to become more free from the negatives in my life. The trail has given me the time and space to iron out the things that need improvement and for me to establish healthier, more positive habits. And I have been able to connect to people in the best of ways. The whole experience of hiking the trail is humbling.

How did you first learn about the PCT? The PCT runs through my backyard here in southern California. It was a serpent larger than life when I was a kid, but I forgot all about it until 2014 when I was looking for a long trail to walk. Things just came full circle.

Any other favorite spots you recommend? Well, I’ll omit my favorite trail angels’ homes and towns in lieu of natural places. Hands down it would be the Sierra Nevada. All of it. Second to this would be Washington. I love being up high and big trees.