This requiem originally appeared on PCTA.org. AsABat created the original Pacific Crest Trail Water Report and diligently maintained the report for many years.
On Friday, August 10, 2012, Bill “AsABat” Jeffrey was found peaceful, in his sleeping bag, in his tent, at Charlton Lake in Oregon. At 54, he was too young for many of us to consider passing.
The PCTA and the organizers of the ADZPCTKO, wish to express our deep shock, sorrow and sadness upon hearing the news of Bill’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and his wife, Cindy.
Bill joined the ADZ organizers in the early years of the event and brought a high energy and deep passion for the PCT to all he did. He handled emergency communications for the event and showed a cool, calm response to several “lost or missing” hiker reports over the years. He helped with AV, local logistics, and many other important aspects of the event, as well as serving on the board of directors.
His innovative online southern California water report brought him a PCTA award and recognition.
As he explained on the PCT-List years ago regarding the origins of his trail name;
What’s an AsABat?
It’s common on the long trails to take, or be given, a trail name. There are many people I consider friends who I know only by their trail names. Because they are easy to remember, it helps the trail grapevine communicate information up and down the trail. Contrary to the belief of a few hiking partners, my trail name does not refer to hiking “as a bat out of Hades.” Rather, it refers to “blind as a bat.” In 1996 and 1997 I had new corneas installed. Prior to the transplants I spent a short time legally blind because of keratoconus. Hence, I was blind as a bat. When others ask how I got my name, I relate this information and remind them to fill out their organ donor cards.
Not drawing any comparisons to myself, I can relate to John Muir who, before his conservationist career, was quite the inventor. He punctured an eye in an industrial accident and lay in darkness for two months until his vision slowly returned. That was a turning point in his life, and he later wrote, “Now had I arisen from the grave! God has to nearly kill us sometimes, to teach us lessons,” and later, “I bade adieu to all my mechanical inventions, determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God.”
BTW, yes, I spell it as one word. I started out writing it “Asabat” but confused too many people, so adopted the funky capitalization “AsABat.”
He passed doing what he and all of you love to do; hiking. He will be sorely missed and forever in our memories and prayers.
PCTA member and volunteer
Past President ALDHA-West
“Strider” 1977 PCT
The family requests that instead of sending flowers, donations be made to the PCTA (Pacific Crest Trail Association) or Father Joe’s Village/St. Vincent De Paul in San Diego in his name.