It has only been two weeks?!
I am currently writing this from the comforts of a motelroom (dusting up the place with two others but comfort nonetheless) in Idyllwild. Taking a very needed double zero after my right hip started complaining that I should take it slow. The first 12 days were AMAZING in one word. The definition of that word does not even cover the experience on trail. A rollercoaster of beautiful moments and shared joy, and painful moments where your whole body just hurts and you want to feel somewhat clean again.
The first steps
The first day was fresh and cloudy so perfect hiking weather. Optimistically I went the full 15,5 miles to Hauser Creek, instead of my aimed 10 miles to take off slow, where I was greeted by a whole bunch of friendly hikers. I was exhausted but luckily its quite hiker custom to go to bed around 8. I collapsed into my sleeping bag.
The days after were pretty hot so I took off each morning probably about 5:00/5:30 AM to see the sunrise whilst I was hiking and stuffing a granola bar in my mouth in the process. The flow of hiking life came pretty easy to me and very soon felt like the only life I had ever known.
First mile marker
On the morning of day four I hit the mile 50 marker in the gorgeous area of Cleveland National Park (seriously jaw dropping). My feet started to develop some very nasty blisters between my toes which was eventually solved by some liner toesocks (they look funny but man do those work). Even though I trained for the PCT, and my body held up pretty good, every day up until this day it has been a new flavour of pain in some part of my body. Coming and going, luckily nothing serious.
The first townday
I met some amazing people from the get-go who I started hiking with. We hiked into Julian on day 6 where we had a double nero. We eagerly took advantage of all the sweet things Julian has to offer like Mom’s Pie, Jack’s grocery store sandwich, the Brewery and the Apple Cider Mill. Basically the whole town is directed towards hikers so expect it to be a bit of a hiker vortex but the locals are incredibly friendly. I loved Julian but after all our luxurious needs like laundry and showers and good food were fulfilled, I was happy to be on trail again. Sleeping outside (I mostly cowboycamped up until now) and taking in the beautiful scenery was starting to feel like home.
My first thoughts of the trail
The scenery was (and still is) taking my breath away, especially those first few days. Everything is new and you want to take pictures every five minutes of literally everything. The flowers, the mountains, the animals, the rocks. Coming from a small country with not a lot of diversity in nature, i have never seen the landscape change so much as on the PCT. In one day you can go from dramatic mountainview drops to hiking through pine forests in a valley or through flat desert landscape. Because of that, I feel like I am out on the trail already for two months instead of 12 days. Southern California: you are beautiful. And I am looking forward to exploring the rest of your beauties.
After my much needed rest, i’m off to Mt San Jacinto!
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