Scout’s PCT Thru-Hike 2019, Days One to Three

Day One

We’re here! Driving up to see the monument made the reality that I was about to embark on a PCT thru-hike all the more real. The day was cold, windy, and largely overcast, but that did little to dampen my enthusiasm. My dad and I got dropped off by my uncle, and after saying our goodbyes, off we went. The trail starting out wasn’t terribly difficult; there was very little elevation gain and loss. As the day dragged on the weather improved and overcast skies turned to patchy clouds. Our original goal was to make it 20 miles and get into Lake Morena, but as we hit the ten-mile mark it was clear we weren’t gonna make it that far. We compromised with ourselves and decided to stop after 15 miles at Hauser Creek. It was a great tent spot except for the veritable tent city that greeted us. Regardless, there was no way we were going any farther so we squeezed our tents in and got some much-needed rest.

Day Two

I woke up to misting rain and dark skies. Clambering out of my tent this morning was an exercise in grunting in pain. My whole body hurt. Despite having done this before, it has been over a year since I’ve done any serious hiking. So it’s gonna take a few days for my body to adjust back. Getting out of my tent, I did my morning business and then proceeded to start packing everything up. Only after I was fully packed did I allow myself to eat breakfast. Unfortunately, my dad is not quite as well versed in the morning hiker routine so we ended up being the last ones out of camp. The day started with an uphill—of course. We got over it, though, and made our way into Lake Morena campground, where we stopped at the general store for some much-needed hot food. It was the best damn burger I had had in awhile. After finishing our food we headed out with the goal to make it as far as we could. We did have an idea of where we possibly wanted to make it but another 12 miles seemed like a lot. The day continued on as normal, with the skies constantly overcast and rain coming in fits and starts. Thankfully, it only misted so it wasn’t enough that we ever got soaked. Regardless, it has been a cold and wet day. So we ended up making it the whole 12 miles from Lake Morena and I am now at a wonderful campsite next to a well-flowing stream. It’s been a long day; our longest yet at 17 miles. A record for my dad as his longest day ever. I’m tired, sore, and ready to get some much-needed rest. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Day Three

What an absolutely gorgeous day! The sun came out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Clear blue skies all around. It was cold though, very cold, but hey, it had stopped raining and it was a gorgeous day. We hiked up to Mount Laguna, where we stopped at the local tavern for some much-needed food and beer. Chilled out in the sun for a bit and then headed on down the trail for a few miles to our campsite. My dad and I were both feeling pretty sore so we decided to make it a shorter day. Upon arriving at our campsite we were greeted by the most spectacular view we had yet on the trail. A no holds barred view of the Anza-Borrego valley. It was absolutely stunning and a perfect way for my dad to end his short trip out here. Our view was to the east, so we had one hell of a sunrise awaiting us.

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