Campo to Warner Springs: Is This Actually Happening?

It is hard to believe that this time last week I was just starting the trail. It seems like I left Vernon forever ago because so much has happened in the past week. I am writing from the Warner Springs Community Resource Center, where I will be taking my first zero (day off).

Traveling from Vernon, British Columbia, to San Diego couldn’t have gone more smoothly. My awesome parents woke up at 3:30 a.m. to drive me to Kelowna International Airport and see me off.

On my way to San Diego from Kelowna, British Columbia.

Once I got to San Diego I was fortunate to stay with Scout and Frodo – legendary PCT trail angels who host a crazy number of hikers before they start their journey. It was the best possible way to get ready for the trail; I got a ride from the airport from Dot (one of their volunteers), my phone set up at AT&T, my grocery shopping done, and a ride to the Southern Terminus with Bud, another one of their volunteers. I also lucked out because my second night there was “Hawaiian night,” which only happens once a year. I got all of my chores done by Saturday afternoon so I could help with dinner and hang out with everyone.

Hawaiian night with Scout and Frodo.

I got up early Sunday morning and was ready to go. As we approached the monument at the Southern Terminus everything felt like a dream. Even touching the border wall and talking to the other hikers at the monument didn’t make it sink in.

At the Southern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Group photo of everyone who stayed at Scout and Frodo’s and started the trail April 29, 2018.

Four of us started together and hiked the first nineish miles as a group. Lynx, Sabine, Olivia, and I had a great time and I still couldn’t believe I was actually on the PCT. My plan has always been to start slowly with around ten miles a day for the first couple of days and then keep it under or around 15 miles a day for a couple of weeks. I made the decision to stop at around mile 11 on day one, which was difficult because it was only 1 p.m. and it seemed like everyone else was pushing to mile 15 or 20 to camp.

Me, Sabine, Lynx, and Olivia at mile one.

I am so glad I decided to take it easy on day one because making that decision set the tone for my hike – I need to do what is best for me so that I can get the most out of my experience. Being confident in myself and my decisions has allowed me to get to mile 109.5 in good spirits and without injury.

I find myself feeling more confident as each day and each mile passes. After so much planning and lead up to starting the trail, it feels great to have accomplished this much so far.

After a cool, and sometimes stormy, first few days, the heat of the desert has hit. Yesterday I tried to rest during the hottest part of the day, which was the biggest challenge for me yet. I found it very difficult to sit still and relax for more than a couple of hours. All I wanted to do was get moving. In my normal off-trail life, I get to choose exactly what I want to do and when I want to do it most of the time, so I find it hard when I only have one option.

Instead of recapping every day in detail, I am going to summarize some of my favorite parts of trail life from the first 109.5 miles.

Trail Friends

I have gotten to hike with people from all over the world. I have hiked by myself for a significant amount of time, but everyone ends up gathering at water sources, camping areas, and in towns. Here are some of my trail friends.

Here are Adam and Leanne from South Carolina. We have hiked together for a couple of days, mostly during chilly and stormy weather.

I have spent the past couple of days with Diane and Michelle. I took this photo as the sun came out one morning in the desert.

Diane is from St. Louis, Mo., and she is serious about sun safety.

I took this photo of Michelle taking a photo. She’s from Lake Forest, Calif.

Angela, Leslie, and Keith (not in this photo) invited me in for coffee and breakfast in Mt. Laguna. They are from British Columbia and Alberta and I got to see Angela and Leslie later that day on the trail, pictured here.


There have been several moments on trail where I have been completely overwhelmed by how amazing everything has been. I have been taking panoramas in the attempt to capture at least a fraction of the beauty out here.

Interesting Moments

Here’s a category for photos of times that weren’t all majestic views worthy of a coffee table book. We had a bit of stormy weather in the first few days, which made for a bit of type two fun – not so fun at the time but fun to reminisce about.

It was windy and drizzling this day, and I hiked by myself for several hours without seeing anyone – and without seeing out of one lens.

It rained and possibly snowed during the night, and once it warmed up the next morning ice started falling off the trees.

Getting used to being dirty all the time.

The folks at the Warner Springs Community Resource Center are amazing. This is where you take bucket showers and do laundry. It felt so nice once all the chores were done and I was clean.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the trail, but I am also glad that I decided to take a day off. I didn’t realize that I was tired until I started to rest. Getting to meditate and do yoga on flat, green grass was the best way to recharge before continuing on.

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Comments 2

  • Carl and Laurie Shaver : May 7th

    We are so happy you are living and enjoying this dream. We are with you every step of the way.
    Love Laurie and Carl

  • Pat Donnelly : May 12th

    Taylor your updates about your trek are truly fascinating. Thank you for sharing. We’ll be following your steps each week.
    Pat, Marlene, and Dan Donnelly


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