Kelty Kids

Carl Siechert

Following the PCT and graduation from Cal Poly, I returned to southern California. I worked in a commercial print shop as an estimator and production manager for about 12 years. During that time, I started dabbling with computers, and one of our customers at the print shop thought I might be able to write about them. With a partner, I started writing documentation for personal computer hardware and software as a moonlighting business. In 1989, I left the printing biz and went to Siechert & Wood Professional Documentation full time. We've written a ton of those manuals that you find in the box with a new computer gizmo (only the good manuals--not the ones that you swear at). I've also written about a dozen books, mostly for Microsoft Press. The latest, Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out, which I coauthored with Ed Bott and Craig Stinson, is getting great reviews and seems to be selling really well. Nonetheless, I'd appreciate it if you'd go down to your local Barnes & Noble, be sure they've got it in stock, and turn the cover face out on a nice eye-level shelf.

I haven't done any long hikes since the PCT, but we Kelty Kids still get out for 7-10 days each summer, usually in the Sierra Nevada. I also do some peakbagging and day hikes in So Cal (and wherever we go on vacation), but those day hikes are increasingly infrequent. In 1987, I was on a Sierra Club hike which was generally a disaster, but on it I met a fantastic woman. The first thing that attracted me to her was that she hikes at the same pace as I do. Jan is now a full-fledged Kelty Kid, and we sometimes struggle to keep up with her on our summer backpacks. We got married in 1988, but we obviously didn't drink from the same springs that Strider, Paul Hacker, Nancy, and other PCT baby machines did. We have no kids, and our household is currently down to a single cat. (All my pets are named after California 14ers, and Muir seemed especially appropriate for this calico because she can pronounce it just fine.)

If I haven't yet bored you with this prose, then try my personal web site, which is loaded with pictures and other dreck that's sure to make you head for the hills.

By the way, I'm the easiest '77 PCTer to track down; about ten years ago we bought the home I grew up in, so if you had my Pasadena address back then, you've still got it!

The bio that appears in each of my books published by Microsoft Press ends with this:

"Carl hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in 1977 and would rather be hiking right now."

If I was going to be buried (which I'm not), I think that'd be my epitaph too.


More photos of the Kelty Kids