When Brad did the Te Araroa in NZ he didn't have a phone or computer and depended on computer service at hostels and libraries for blogging and getting messages home. Before he started the PCT he purchased a smart phone. Here are the first two photographs sent from the trail.
PCT Trail literature says people get lost in the first 20 miles on the PCT. According to Brad the first 20 miles took no GPS, were well marked and the trail clear enough to hike at night with a full moon. After completing 1800 miles on the Te Araroa perhaps trail instinct sets in.