First Week on the PCT
As I am writing this I’m hiding from the sun in a little piece of shade. Day 7 on trail. What a week it has been. It’s quite something getting used to life on trail (it’s my first thru hike!) and it takes some effort but the rewards are amazing! I really want to get into the rhythm of blogging so I’m going to put this out there without editing it a few times. I’ll try to be as coherently as possible!
Night before trail at Scout & Frodo
The kickoff at Scout & Frodo’s house was great. Meeting other hikers and being able to share the nerves. What are we getting ourselves into? Scout & Frodo are like parents to us backpackers, sending us off on the best way possible. To think that they have been doing this for hundreds of hikers blows my mind. So incredibly generous. It was very special. Real angels!
A humbling first day
It felt strange to be at the southern terminus. I’m here! With a bundle of nerves in my stomach I posed for pictures at the monument. And now what? Now just hike! Step by step it started to sink in. I am doing it’ I’m walking on the Pacific Crest Trail! It was a humbling first day, with a water carry of 6 liters and food for 5 days. You can do it with less but I like to be over prepared and feel like a mule it seems.
The group that started the first day together quickly fell apart. Everyone walks in their own pace. To be honest, I was a bit scared that the trail would be too busy but it’s not. It’s easy to walk alone for a whole day. Here and there I see another hiker, hiding from the sun. Shade is scarce on the first leg of the PCT and the sun is relentlessly baking us sweaty hikers. This trail is simultaneously the most beautiful and brutal thing I’ve ever done. I am loving it! You can watch video’s and read blogs all you want but it’s nothing like being out here and experiencing it all. The highs and the lows.
Embracing this new lifestyle
It’s a steep learning curve out here, completely out of my comfort zone. The first day I was still trying to clean the dirt off my backpack to giving that up on the second day already. Figuring out how much water I need for each stretch. It’s not even the ‘real’ desert yet and it’s walking from water source to water source. Adapting & adjusting to this beautiful environment. How much food do I need? When walking through heat my appetite is low, I wonder when hiker hunger will kick in.
I am amazed by the already changing landscape. The first days on trail there was a hummingbird at every break I took. Now it’s more cactus. Oh the views! The flowers! The smells! The views! The cactus with flowers! The mountains! It is the best feeling to walk for days and look back at mountains that are now on the horizon and realize; two days ago I was there! And I walked all the way!
And the people!
There is this saying that it’s the people that make the trail and I’ve already met such cool people! The most amazing souls are out here. Sharing stories, food & laughter. Hiker trash for life! My dearest new friend miso said the other day;
‘we don’t smell bad, it is just our clothes!’
Young and old are out here. I was silently laughing when a guy in it’s late thirties rushed by me saying; ‘there are these old guys behind me that I want to stay in front of’. Then said old guys pass me and I tell them this and they burst out laughing. Over 65 and booking it with 20 miles a day. Amazing!
Guys! I’ve got my trail name. For those of you who know me well it’s not a surprise.. spicy is my new name! Because I almost only eat spicy things and I guess I’m a bit of a spicy person? According to the hikers around me. The most fun thing is to watch how trail names are born. There is birthday boy, lunch and Miso. Miso got her name because she isn’t that into trail food and only likes miso soup which has like 30 calories!
I can write on but I’ll end with a few sort sentences.
- I went cowboys camping on the second night! (Camping without a tent, so many stars!)
- I’ve cried from pain & laughing
- Already dug a lot of cat holes, it’s surprisingly easy.
- Free pie at Mom’s in Julian!
- Im at mile 91 right now and I will pass mile 100 this afternoon!! (Edit: I did!)
Big sweaty hug!
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.