Courtesy PhotoAfter a quick breakfast at Snoqualmie Pass

Courtesy PhotoAfter a quick breakfast at Snoqualmie Pass

Veterans hike through Snoqualmie Pass on 2,560-mile journey

Four Veteran hikers made their way through the Snoqualmie Pass on Labor Day, Sept. 5 as part of the Warrior Expedition program that gives veterans an opportunity to decompress from their time in the military.

Four Veteran hikers made their way through the Snoqualmie Pass on Labor Day, Sept. 5 as part of the Warrior Expedition program that gives veterans an opportunity to decompress from their time in the military.

Beginning on April 11 this year, along the Mexican border in Campo, Calif., veterans Joseph Jamison, Rueben Munoz, Daniel Janes and Jimmy Sellers started their trip up the West Coast of the U.S. along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Their goal is to finish their hike on Sept. 22 at Manning Park in British Colombia, Canada.

After retiring from a career in the Army that began in 1995 and spanned 21 years, Jamison, from Pueblo, Colo., started hiking in his free time. While on a hike in 2014 on a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in southern Washington, Jamison met another hiker who told him about the Warrior Expedition program. After some research into the program he applied to hike the trail.

The Warrior Expedition program is divided into three categories, hiking, biking and paddling. Warrior Paddle participants travel the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana, Warrior Bikers ride the Trans-America Trail from Oregon to Virginia, and the Warrior Hikers have a choice of eight trails across the country including the Pacific Crest.

The program was founded by veteran Sean Gobin in 2012 after he served in Iraq and Afghanistan; he found hiking long distances to be a therapeutic way of transitioning from combat to a civilian lifestyle. He started the expeditions to help other veterans coming back home.

“For a soldier or someone in the military, a lot of times when they get out, the adjustment period is pretty rough, to adjust from the rigid military life to civilian life, it’s hard for a lot of us,” Jamison said. “You are able to press the release button, clear your mind out and process everything that’s happened to you over the years.”

Jamison was selected as one of this year’s hikers after applying for the program and an interview with Gobin.

“He’s pretty selective for who he chooses,” Jamison said. “He doesn’t have enough slots and funding for everyone who applies. He is looking for guys who have at least some outdoor experience — it’s 2,650 miles — guys who would be capable to finish it.”

The weekend before they began, Gobin gave a them a crash course in long distance hiking to prepare the men for the coming months.

Warrior Expeditions provides the hikers with all the gear they need and coordinates stops in various towns along the trail. Once a week, the group of hikers will come into a town and stay with a host so they can shower and get something to eat.

Jamison said the group often splits up and allows each of the hikers some time to be alone while hiking. They meet up once they come into a town, but mostly they hike alone.

“Something that surprises a lot of people is none of us really hike together through the day, we may or may not camp together, we each set our own individual goals,” he said. “It’s an independent and a group effort. We usually meet up in towns, keep in contact, send messages.”

On Monday, Sept. 5, The group of hikers stayed with Adam Cooper, chief of staff for King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, at his house in the Alpental area near Snoqualmie Pass. He got involved as a host for the Warrior Expedition through a neighbor’s Facebook post looking for anyone interested in hosting the hikers.

Local businesses donated breakfast and dinner for the group and they set out on the trail Tuesday morning.

Now that the hike is almost over, Jamison, reflecting back on the past six months, said the Warrior Hike was even better than he was expecting. It has allowed him to relax while also facilitating strong friendships with the other hikers.

“I thought I was just going to walk a trail and get to know the area I grew up in a little bit better, I was looking for something epic to do after I retired,” he said. “It’s been so much better than what I thought it would be. When you are put in a situation with people you don’t know, it’s a clean slate, you are creating new memories with people you never met before. It’s a whole new experience.”

Jamison’s friends and family have told him he is doing something amazing, but he feels that it’s something anyone can do if they put in the effort for it.

“We all get wrapped up in our daily lives and day-to-day things that distract us from bigger goals. If you accomplish something small every day it leads to your bigger goal,” he said. “If you just do things one step at a time, any ordinary person can do something extraordinary.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Snoqualmie mayor and city council candidates at the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce candidate forum. From left: Council candidates Tanya Lavoy and Matt Laase. Mayor candidates: Peggy Shepard and Katherine Ross.
Candidates for Snoqualmie mayor and council discuss local issues at forum

Local businesses, the city’s recovery from the pandemic, future growth, affordable housing… Continue reading

Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. File photo
File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Federal funding to support maintenance in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, a nonprofit organization that works to… Continue reading

Geographic dispersion of Washington State Patrol commissioned personnel who lost their jobs Oct. 18. (Washington State Patrol)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 1,900 state workers lose jobs

Exactly how many people will be out of work for ignoring Gov.… Continue reading

Snoqualmie City Hall. Photo courtesy of the City of Snoqualmie
Snoqualmie opens another round of COVID-19 relief funding

The City of Snoqualmie is offering another round of COVID-19 relief grants… Continue reading

Spring Chinook Salmon.  Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Duvall nonprofit sues Department of Fish and Wildlife over salmon hatchery policy

Wild Fish Conservancy, a Duvall-based nonprofit, and The Conservation Angler filed suit… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson. File Photo Conor Wilson/Valley Record
Nearly all Snoqualmie city employees vaccinated

Nearly all Snoqualmie city staff are vaccinated against COVID-19, as the city’s… Continue reading

King County Courthouse adjacent to City Hall Park (courtesy of City of Seattle)
County council votes to take dangerous park out of Seattle’s hands

City Hall Park, next to the courthouse in downtown Seattle, has had multiple reports of crime.

stock image
Health care workers call on state’s hospitals to help mitigate staffing crisis

Health care workers unions claim hospitals have the resources to fix the issue.

file photo
Eastside Fire & Rescue says their response times will not be affected by absence of unvaccinated employees

Spokesperson says about 13 employees have left the department at the moment.

Most Read