I guess I live in a tent now

Stars are out as I get out of my tent at the campground, less than a mile of the Southern Terminus of the PCT. It is a cold morning but my spirits are high. All my anxiety of walking the trail is gone, I’m happy, excited and ready to go.

The night before starting the trail has made my nerves settle: meeting fellow hikers, listening to experienced veterans who have done the trail, and all good vibes make all of us smile.

The first steps feel great, even if my pack weight is 34 pounds. Yes, I am carrying way too much food and water. But as Papa Bear said the night before: you will figure it out as you go. First mile down, every PCT marker makes me smile, the weather is amazing: sunny with a tiny breeze and I am caffeinated and motivated to walk to Canada.

Everything is beautiful

Everything is beautiful, new, exciting and the miles seem to come by easily. The day goes by fast. Learning how to filter water, meeting others and looking up campsites on Farout. We have been told that there is a storm rolling in later in the afternoon, and as Amanda and I pitch our tent at mile 11.7 it starts to drizzle. It doesn’t take long after that for the sky to drop a hammer on us, and our first warm meal on the trail is cooked in pouring rain. The meal is warm but I have a feeling that I have cold-soaked myself.

We hunker down in our tent, and as we fall asleep the wind is howling outside. That night we wake up as the tent has collapsed from all the sleet that has gathered on top of it. The night goes by as I keep adjusting the stakes and poles but the weather is winning this battle.

We get up early, cold, soaked and very willing to start hiking to get the blood flowing. Not the first night I had expected, but we have survived and it is time to take on the weather for another round. We leap-frog with Jordan, Meat Sweats and Roger to Hauser Creek, where we filter water and gather some energy for the ascent up to Lake Morena.

As we arrived at Lake Morena, the weather was winning round 2. High winds, hail, rain, and slush sent us looking for the rangers office at the campground. Our hopes for getting a cabin for the night were crushed fast as everything was fully booked. Our heads and spirits down we wobbled towards the Malt shop.

There is a saying that the trail always provides, and that is exactly what happened. Roger walked past us and after telling our story he invited us to stay in his cabin. The rain was still smashing us as we reached the shop, but we had won round 3.

Yours truly

Whoops and hollers were heard the day after the storm, as a bunch of hikers got out of their cabins. The air was crisp and the sun was out, seemed like everyone was ready to crush some bigger miles. We ended up walking to Cibbets Flat campground with Li and Angie, who we met during the first night at Cleef. As we entered the campground, Lothar, a trail angel invited us to stay on his site and gave us our first trail magic.

A bunch of happy hikers

The hike up to Mt. Laguna started out well but after a while it became a slush/mudfest. Slow miles were celebrated with big burgers and with the new fuel we pushed past Mt. Laguna. The trail between Mt. Laguna campground and Julian treated us well. Our little group of six stopped every 10 minutes and wowed on the views. Excited about town food, showers and laundry we pushed to Scissors Crossing and held our thumbs up for our first hitch.

The joy of hiking

After 15 minutes on doing dance moves on the side of the highway we got picked up. Crammed up in a small vehicle we made our way up to Julian for some free pie and well deserved showers. 

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