We mourn the passing of Andy “Astro” Lyon

Last summer, we were brought to tears by Astro’s inspirational story. We’ve followed the turns of his journey ever since. Artist and PCT community member Kolby Kirk shares with us the news of Andy Lyon’s passing. A journal documenting Andy’s life and travels can be found at hikingthepacificcrest.wordpress.com. R.I.P., friend.

Andy "Astro" Lyon full of love and openness on the PCT.

Andy “Astro” Lyon full of love and openness on the PCT.

“I am full of sadness today. On Friday, August 30th, Andy “Astro” Lyon passed away. Andy Lyon had been fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma since he was 18 years old. For over four years, he had been through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant to try and stop the disease. But when the cancer came back again in 2012, according to his mother, “Astro said enough was enough.” Instead of more chemo, he decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail starting in April, 2012.

It was a difficult journey, as it is for every thru hiker. However, after hiking 2,302 miles, pain in his back was so great, he had to get off the trail to see a doctor. The pain he was experiencing was from a new tumor discovered along his spine, pressing on nerves and causing the increasing pain, making it difficult for him to move. Despite the news, he continued his hike. On October 6th, 2012, Astro completed his goal of hiking the Pacific Crest trail from Mexico to Canada.

In an interview with KEPR News done shortly before he completed his hike, Astro said, “One of the greatest blessings I’ve gotten from this whole experience with cancer and healing is it’s given me the freedom and the drive to do whatever I want to do. And that includes the Pacific Crest Trail. Ultimately, the greatest healing lies in new things and opening yourself up to the power of the spirit, the power of the universe, the power of nature, letting go and letting that take you.”

He was an inspiration to all whom he met. He was an inspiration to me, and I had never met him. I will remember him for this picture, taken at the northern terminus of the trail, after Astro had hiked 2,660 miles. You will be missed, brother.”

-Kolby Kirk of thehikeguy.com

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.