I just finished reading "The Pacific Crest Trail" by William R. Gray, published by the National Geographic Society. This is a terrific book, well worth hunting down. Gray is a gifted writer, mixing natural history, trail history and a diary style narrative as he and photographer Sam Abell walk the trail. There is a strong focus on the people they meet and their stories. Their intention was never to thru-hike, this meant they were able to stop along the way to explore, expanding the narrative. Abell's photographs are exceptional, they are very artistic and complement Gray's writing perfectly.
Gray continued as a writer, editor, and publishing executive at National Geographic until 2001 and now teaches as San Juan college. His other books include "Camping Adventure (Books For Young Explorers)" and "Voyages to Paradise," both are now on my wish list. Abell continues to shoot with National Geographic and has been published in over 20 articles. He has also released several photography books and exhibited his work numerous times. See more of Abels work here.