About Me

My name is Carrot Quinn. In 2013 I hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. I wrote a book about my hike, called Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart. That book is available here.

In 2014 I thru-hiked Pacific Crest Trail a second time. You can see all 116 of those blog posts here. Why did I hike the PCT a second time? I don’t know. Why does anything do anything? Why is there something instead of nothing?

In 2015 I thru-hiked the Continental Divide Trail. You can see all those posts here. Since then I’ve also thru-hiked the Lowest to Highest Route, the Hayduke Route, the Wind River High Route, the Kings Canyon High Basin Route and some other things. Those links are in the menu up top.

Contact me: carrotquinn4@gmail.com

More about me:

I am 40 years old. I was raised in Alaska on welfare by a schizophrenic single mother who thought that she was the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. At fourteen I was adopted by my conservative catholic grandparents, and I went to highschool in a small Colorado town near the Utah border. At seventeen I moved out on my own. I worked graveyard shifts at Denny’s to support myself during my senior year of highschool. In 2001, at nineteen, I moved to Portland, and fell in with a bunch of straight-edge anarchists. They taught me how to ride freight trains, dumpster all my food, talk about my feelings, and cook things in cast iron skillets. It was fucking awesome. I spent my twenties working summers in Alaska, writing in the winters in Portland, and in between I hitchhiked and rode freight trains across this great North American continent. At 28 I was tired of breathing diesel exhaust and accruing trespassing tickets so I hung up my stained carharts, so to speak, figuring my life of adventure was over. That sucked. Luckily, a few years later I discovered long-distance hiking. And here we are.

I wrote a book about all of that. It’s called The Sunset Route. It’s currently available wherever books are sold.

I’m also just finished a speculative fiction novel about a young person who flees a dystopic city in a destabilizing empire to travel, at first via bike and later on foot, to Nevada, to find a group of people she’s only heard rumors about. Hopefully that’ll be out someday.

My biggest literary influences are Annie Dillard, Phoolan Devi, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old.

My FAQ page is here.

If you’d like to tip me for my writing, you can buy me a burger. I will eat this giant, greasy, dripping burger in a little trail town somewhere while my laundry spins merrily at the laundromat, and this burger will be the ultimate burger, the burger that transcends all burgers; this burger will be the anticipation of burgers and the experience of burgers and the longing to be hungry and eat burgers again, forever and ever and ever.

burger button

my twitter, my instagram



Zion, 2016


On the crest of the Inyo Mountains, grabbing the moon. L2H 2014

On the crest of the Inyo Mountains. L2H 2014.


In the forests of Washington on the PCT, 2013. Photo by Raho.

Washington on the PCT, 2013. Photo by Ramen.


carrot quinn train

The Blue Ridge mountains, 2006

the collective tarot hermit



rockwell kent 1

28 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I’ve been reading your archives for the past few weeks and I love your writing and your stories. The last thing I read was about how masculinity is idolized and it blew me over. I don’t know anyone who is not guilty of that, either idolizing their own masculinity or someone else’s. Myself included. I’d really like to be able to read your new, password-protected posts, if you wouldn’t mind. It’s a beautiful world that you describe, and one that’s very far from mine. (not that I don’t find my own world beautiful, in it’s own way!).
    Thanks and take care,

  2. Dear Carrot:

    I have enjoyed reading many of your stories, and it finally occurred to me today that you might be interested in writing a piece for a journal I edit, the Oregon Historical Quarterly. First-person accounts have comprised much of the Quarterly’s pages for the past 110 years, and you could help to document an aspect of Oregon life that will be challenging for historians to understand. If you are interested, please get in touch at the email address listed above.

    Take care,

  3. You write well. I’ve been an editor and publisher for – well, let’s say, quite a long, long time and in different countries. Continue with your style and don’t “think” about it. Nice to know there are still people who know how to write – and mean what they say. Nice one.

  4. I just happened upon a beat up copy of pilgrim at tinker creek and decided to get some orientation to annie dillard… my weird internet journey wandering here to your blog and thought it strange that my inquiry into a writer’s work would lead me to a (-nother) writer with some connection to oregon (where i am) and that was delightful, meaningful and gave me comfort. so thank you!

  5. Hi Hugh!
    Things turned out really well for me. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs helped re-balance the ecology of my gut, and following a grain-free diet that’s real low in sugar keeps my gut working awesome, so I only rarely have any problems. My digestion actually works fantastically now. Thanks for asking, and best of luck with your pancreatic issues!

  6. Carrot,
    I love this about-me-page.
    I love that you are sticking to the low-sugar/ grain free/ dairy free diet for the trail. It is awesome to see that kind of dedication at work. In my non-trail life I strive for this same diet, and helps immensely. I rebuilt the flora of my gut after some nasty parasites I got in Latin America. On the trail…I’m like: jerky and greens for breakfast, okay. I can avoid the pop tart. Yet, I will not be rigidly following a health regimen on this hike, as of now I will be all inclusive in the nourishment department (within reason!)…We shore do live in a health bubble here in the PNW, especially Portland. excited to share snack ideas!!!
    yo yo yo yo yo

  7. I’ve been reading your blog from the start, enjoying it immensely. I love the way your write. I’m particularly interested because my son has also been hiking the PCT this year. He almost made it but the weather stopped him. He hasn’t communicated much (the odd facebook entry) so your posts have really helped to keep me aware of what he has been going through. For that I thank you.
    I thought I read early on that you were going to produce a book of the walk. I can’t seem to find any reference to it now. Are you still doing it? How do I go about ordering it?
    Raymond (father of Starfox)
    Melbourne, Australia

  8. Just discovered your blog while randomly looking at pct stuff. I have only read a few posts, but I am hooked, and can’t wait to read your journey, from start to finish! It’s my dream to get back to the USA and spend more time in the sierras, the Rockies, and more of the national parks of western USA. Hopefully one day even do a bit of the pct. thanks for sharing your journey, you write so wonderfully! All the best from the west of Australia!

  9. Hi Carrot,
    Saw you on Muk Muk’s blog, thought you looked familiar, racked my brain, put the pieces together, and finally realized that we were in Robin Romm’s Advanced Fiction class together at PSU a few years back. I remember you were always such a beautiful writer. And damn, you still are. I’m currently in the thick of planning my PCT thru-hike for next year–mind if I bombard you with questions in the near future?

    • Molly-

      Dang, it’s a small world! Thanks for the nice words about my writing. Yes, ask away! I also happen to be writing a book right now on ultralight backpacking as it pertains to thru-hikes- so that should be available by the end of February. So awesome that you’re gonna thru-hike! And so good to hear from you!

      Best, Carrot

      On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 11:33 PM, CARROT QUINN

  10. Great, amazing, kick-arse blog. I am simply doing the John Muir Trail in a few months (with PCT aspirations), and wondered if you’ve finished that ultralight backpacking book?


    Jason (also from Southern Oregon, though now in Oakland)

  11. Really enjoyed your train-riding stories, exotic adventure for us armchair travelers. Then the dramatic photo of you on top of the train! Touches a nerve because my father told me about freighthopping from Boston back to his home in Spokane when he was a student in the 1930s. I regret not asking him to tell me lots more about what that experience was like, I was too young then to appreciate how wild it really was. So you have helped fill in a lot of the missing past, providing all of us with truly rich personal history. Thank you for being so articulate and publishing!

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  13. I wanna be like you when I was half my age, but no… I got stuck in Retail.
    Seeing as how I’m now twice your age, think I’ll just live vicariously through you.

    Stay safe, li’l sister.

  14. Keep up the Awesome writing! I’m psyched to finally finish my SoBo PCT thru-hike this year. Was at first just lookin’ at your gear list to update some of my old gear: UV-powered steripen, solar charger, gaiters, etc. But I’ve enjoyed reading your writing and it’s getting me inspired to get back on the trail. When I first heard the cowbells of the cattle in S. Oregon/N. Cali, I thought it was some hippies playing in some sort of gamelan orchestra down in the valley. But when I woke up in the middle of the night, and realized there was bell clanging happening all around my hammock, I flipped on my headlamp and realized they were cows and they had surrounded me, and of course, kept me awake.

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