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Lost Journals - Please Help!

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Lost Journals - Please Help!

March 8th, 2006  · stk

Calling All Journal Readers

After a day of soul-searching, frantic emails, file searches and Internet searches, we now have an assessement of our journal devastation. Most entries are GONE. Our only (thin) hope rests with our readers.

IF you have a copy of any of the missing entries below, PLEASE contact us. Thanks!


PCT Journal

  1. CANADA! (Mile 2,658)
  2. Stehekin (Mile 2569)
  3. Skykomish (Mile 2472)
  4. Snoqualmie Pass (Mile 2396)
  5. White Pass (Mile 2298)
  6. Cascade Locks (Mile 2150)
  7. Olallie Lake (Mile 2047)
  8. Cascade Summit (Mile 1907)
  9. Crater Lake (Mile 1829)
  10. Ashland (Mile 1721)
  11. Seiad Valley (Mile 1656)
  12. "Stumbling Toward Canada"
  13. Castella (Mile 1500)
  14. Chester (Mile 1329)
  15. "Trail Questions Answered"
  16. Soda Springs (Mile 1153)
  17. Sonora Pass (Mile 1013)
  18. Tuolumne Meadows (Mile 936)
  19. Red's Meadow (Mile 900)
  20. Cedar Grove (Mile 784)
  21. Kennedy Meadows (Mile 697)
  22. Tehachapi (Mile 555)
  23. Agua Dulce (Mile 455)
  24. "The Routine"
  25. Wrightwood (Mile 366)
  26. Big Bear City (Mile 267)
  27. Idyllwild (Mile 180)
  28. Warner Springs (Mile 110)
  29. Mt. Laguna (Mile 42)
  30. Pre-hike Jitters
  31. Rooster Sends Get-Well Card
  32. Broken Bones & Killer Roosters
  33. Trail Mail
  34. One Month to Go!
  35. Hiking Boots and the NFL Draft

Pacific Coast Cycle Tour

  1. Blowin in the Wind
  2. A Really Gross Farm
  3. Big Grey Little Moo-Moo
  4. Tom and Sheila
  5. Pesky Pete
  6. Prince of Manchester Beach
  7. Thirty-six Damme Eggs
  8. Two the One
  9. Ice Cream Marathon
  10. LOST: A Small Cyclocomputer
  11. On Safari
  12. Into the Golden State
  13. Hamburger Wasteland
  14. Numb Toes & Other Body Parts
  15. Mud Slide!
  16. An Octopus Named Red
  17. Sunbathing Saturday
  18. Visitors from Portland
  19. Internet Woes
  20. Wow. Oregon Already!
  21. A Dear Among Deer
  22. Getting Frisky
  23. 1st Anniversary
  24. Hood Canal
  25. Down to the Wire
  26. Flat Rain
  27. Tossin' Goobers
  28. Casa de Pasa
  29. Meet Scott and Rachel

Note: Hover over an entry for date of that particular entry.


Journal entries with a line through them are ones we have resurrected, from readers or other means. We'll keep this list up-to-date. Thanks in advance for your help!

Words cannot convey the depth of the devastation this has had on our psyche.

* - Thanks to Tom & Sheila!
* - The ONLY backups found locally.
* - Thanks to Yahoo! cached pages
* - Thanks to Tom Kerns!! (a reader from Orinda CA, who had downloaded our complete on-trail journal as a reference)


Continue reading about resurrection efforts...

Turning Stones

When we couldn't find the local backup copies that we thought we had made, we got on the telephone very quickly, in an effort to locate copies of our journal.


There is only one known hardcopy, which was made by Rachel's father, Syd. He had given the hardcopy to us, in a binder and we had unwittingly mailed it on for my grandmother, in Phoenix, Arizona, to read. It's never been returned.

We called Syd (he's recovering from complete knee replacement surgery), on the off chance he might still have something on his computer. He hobbled upstairs but as we suspected, didn't have anything in digital format. The hardcopy came from a swipe-and-print method, so there was never anything "saved" and (though Rachel did compose the last few entries on his computer) a complete wipe of the hard disk drive has been performed in the interim. No luck in Vancouver.

Scott's parents, fortuitously, are visiting Scott's relatives in Phoenix, Arizona, this week. We called Aunt Karen and Uncle Pete, where they're staying and asked if they could check for the SINGLE KNOWN hardcopy in existence - at Grandma Sally's condominium. They said they were visiting the frail old dame and would both ask and look. Much hope was pinned on the fact that this hardcopy, which was never mailed back, would still be resident in her flat.

Scott's Dad emailed just this morning. Unfortunately, Grandma Sally's health and her mental acuity are both declining. She cannot remember what she did with the hardcopy and a search of her apartment didn't turn it up. No hardcopy. :(


The travesty, in all of this, is that Scott used to be a sysAdmin for a UNIX network and is fully aware of the risk that was presented by having our journals in only one location (diary-x). So aware was he, that it was a priority to make text-only backups on our local computers. But life must've gotten in the way ... several moves, the birth of Alex, etc. ... etc ...

He was certain that he HAD made backups and even took the news of the diary-x site failure without alarm. "Good thing I made backups," he said.

Thinking about making backups and actually MAKING backups are two completely different things. If you THINK about doing something often enough, it actually begins to FEEL like you've done it. That's the theory, anyway.

The bottom line is that we can't find any local copies and are now soundly kicking ourselves because of it.

We've emailed Stephen Deken, the proprietor of Diary-X. He has been straight-forward with the failure all along, sympathetic to our dilemma and has promptly responded. All signs indicate he's an upstanding guy and we're not mad at him, mostly just embarrassed and devastated.

The bottom line is that the hard disk drive that the data were on was physically trashed. There are no backups, either at Diary-X or the hosting service they were using. Hard to believe, but that's the reality.

Unless we can turn up anything locally, we just don't have ANY backups for our journal data.

Search Engine Caches

Our only ray of hope came from Yahoo!, which caches indexed pages. A search for "" reveals a few PCT journal entries and a search for "" reveals a few Pacific Coast Cycle Tour entries. One of the cached pages is a listing of all of the entries contained in each journal, so - at the least - we have a list to work from.

Unfortunately, the other two big search engines that we know about, that cache pages (MSN and Google) don't have ANY entries (that we can find) on either journal. :(

If any readers know of any other search engines that might contain cached pages, please let us know.

We also tried the "Way Back Machine" (internet archive), but again, none of the entries in either journal were cataloged. A search under our old geocities pages didn't reveal anything useful.

Old Internet Service Provider

We contacted A1 ISP (the ISP company in California that we used during the hike). We were hoping that they might have backups of the mail server, where our journal entries were "sent" from. The thinking was that we might be able to pull them from the "sent folder".

While we did receive a quick response to our technical question, the answer wasn't what we were hoping. It was, however, what we expected - the data are gone.

Last Hope - Our Readers

When we were on the hike, we had an active email list of over 200 subscribers. We still send out email to those on the list, periodically. So, we've made a plea for help and broadcast it out over that old network, in the hopes that someone, somewhere might have saved an entry, or bunch of entries, in electronic or hard-copy format.

This is really our last hope.

We DO know that some readers printed out portions of our journal, to take with them on their summer backpacking trips. We know we had a number of avid readers. Maybe they still have copies?

The plea continues ... if you're reading this and you might have a copy ... please help us! These journals mean a great deal to us and we would appreciate your help.

Thanks ... Scott & Rachel Kimler

UPDATE: (May/June 2006) ... Thanks to a reader by the name of Tom, who live in Orinda, California, we now have nearly ALL of our Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike journals returned to us. We are again, HAPPY!! So happy, that we busied ourselves and reposted them to the Internet. Enjoy!!

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Updated: 6-Aug-2006
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1.flag Tom & Sheila Comment
Hey Y'all!

After further digging on our old computer, we were only able to come up with the two entries I sent earlier. I could kick myself for not printing yours out when we got back in '04!

I shoulda done it right after ours, but I do procrastinate.

You did such a good job on it too, dadgummit anyway!!
2.flag Roger Comment
I did have printed versions...but I was not organized in keeping them. I don't imagine that I have them anymore...but I am looking.

One dilemma is that I have a box stored at a friends with PCT stuff in it. I am pretty sure it would not be in there. But it is locked in a room, and my
friend lost the key. Plus he is so busy now with making movies he
doesn't understand the meaning of friends (you know, actually seeing/talking to them more than once every couple months). Should I ever get my stuff back, I will look in there. For now, I will look at what I have.

I have moved alot...tossed alot...and while I enjoyed
the read, I don't imagine it would have been something I kept. I knew I could always check it out online.

Good thoughts are with you.