The First 72 Hours
April 2nd – the day before the hike
I landed in San Diego airport around noon and met up with Courtney in ‘arrivals’. We had arranged to stay with Scout and Frodo, two trail angels that did the hike in 2007(?) and have generously hosted hikers that are about to begin their treks. One of the volunteers picked us, and one other (Joe) up at the airport and drove us back to S&F’s house.
Three big white tents were set up in the backyard, and those already there were doing ‘shake downs’ (going through their packs to see what they could ditch to lighten the load before the hike). We had lunch and walked to the store to get last minute food. After dinner, S&F gave a nice talk on Leave No Trace principles, the PCTA, & more. In bed by 9pm.
Breakfast was at 5:30am, and the 22 of us were in the cars heading to the Mexico border in Campo at 6am. Had some photos at the monument and started off. Joe chose to walk with Courtney and I (we warned him we’re a lot to handle). Mile 1-3 were a breeze, and at 10am we stopped for an hour at mile 7.5 for a snack, then again at mile 10 for lunch and to wait out the hottest part of the day. Stopped at 15.4 (Hauser Creek) to camp and the rest of the S&F crew rolled in bit by bit as well.
Woke up at 6am to do the uphill before Lake Morena before the sun got hot. Stopped in Lake Morena at the general store for snacks and a break with all the others. Hiked on & crossed a few shallow rivers. Didn’t take my shoes off for the first one and they got a bit wet – bad idea. Started getting blisters after the first river .. did the 2nd barefoot and stopped to put moleskin on the formed blisters after it.. by mile 28 had a massive blood blister on each heel and plenty others at my toes. 28.5 had a side trail down to Kitchen Creek Falls for a swim and to camp. Took a knife to the blisters and had some snacks. Courtney and Joe swam, and we made some mac&cheese that Courtney found under a tree the night before. Pitched tents and called it a night. 16 mile day, but only 13 miles of the PCT since we got lost a few times. Great spot to camp though.
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