I awoke in a tree house in San Diego to rain pattering on the skylight above me. I thought I heard somewhere that it never rains in Southern California. I was at Frodo and Scout’s home, mere hours from starting my journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. We received a ride out to the terminus in Campo from a neighbor through intermittent rain and fog. When packing for this trip, I debated whether or not to bring rain gear but with this unusual beginning, I’m glad I ultimately did. After a short introductory speech from the volunteers, we set off on our 2650 mile journey. We hiked through gentle ups and downs all day in lovely 50 degree weather on our way to our first stop, Lake Morena. Burgers and beer await!
The next day, we got breakfast from the malt shop and set out. At a campsite several miles in, some guys had trail magic set up for hikers! First trail magic! Thanks guys!
After a few more miles, we saw a sign pointing to another campsite about a mile down a side trail with a handmade sign advertising trail magic and rides back up to trail. We were 5 miles short of our intended stop for the day, but if I know one thing, it’s to never pass up magic. We walked down to the campsite and our faith was rewarded! A huge group of angels spearheaded by Fruit Bowl were there with food, a fire, and amazing company. Blaze Physio, AKA Noodles and her dog Honey, was also there helping out hikers’ ailments. As the afternoon went on, more hikers trickled in and joined the revelry.
Day 3, we set out for Mount Laguna with another burger on our minds. We made it in record time. The hiking out here is much smoother and therefore quicker than the Appalachian Trail, which is a source of constant wonder and excitement for me! After our meal and the best chocolate croissant of my life, we pushed onward to our next campsite. So far, I have stayed at a site with a privy every night, meaning no catholes have been dug (yet). I’m gonna ride that train as long as I can.
Day 4, the water carries became a bit more difficult to coordinate. There was a spigot at the campsite and another one 5 miles out down a quarter mile side trail. After that, iffy reports had me gambling on a possibly empty cistern, the last before Julian. The hike to that water source was very hot and exposed, but provided amazing views. I found myself passing dozens of hikers hiding in small patches of shade. I finally made it and, miraculously, the water was there and it was COLD! We hid under a bush for an hour or two and pushed on past our original plan so we could nearo into Julian faster in the morning.
The campsite was down in the desert below the mountains we’ve been cruising through the past few days with a lovely view of sunset and sunrise. With 1.8 miles to Julian, we set ourselves up for a sweet little nearo!
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