Day 1: Yeah!

Day 1
20.6 miles
Southern Terminus to Lake Morena CG
Blue skies and HOT

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Monument at the Southern Terminus of the PCT!

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Rachel and I at the monument

It was good. Really, really good. Aaaah.

We arrived at the monument, signed the register, shed a few tears of excitement, took about 50 photos, and were ready to hit the trail at 7:15am.

We saw  no rattlesnakes (yet), no illegal immigrants (but a lot of border patrol), and quite a bit of poison oak… thanks to Karen & Jerry and their crash course in identification — we were able to avoid it immediately. Whew!

I enjoyed everything. First lesson on the PCT? It might be desert but it’s NOT flat! Holy moley were there hills! But we had incredible views, wildflowers of every color, towering yuccas, sage, manzanita and a ton of other cool plants I couldn’t identify.

We saw lizards, lightning-fast lizards, and lizards doing push-ups… to impress the hiking ladies, obviously. And successfully, might I add!  There was one of those crazy beetles that lifts it butt when you pass by, a bunch of ants and a few mosquitos.

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Views! This one was the reward for the tough climb out of Hauser Creek

We enjoyed a whole day of blue sky, sunshine and lots AND lots of sweating. We carried 5 liters of water each and had maybe 4 ounces left between the two of us when we arrived at camp. We had some tired legs, fatigued feet, and extremely dirty legs and feet from all the dust mixing with our sweat, but enjoyed all of that, too. We were thrilled to have our first twenty in.

We met a handful of awesome thru-hikers and even a guy named Pascal with his two donkeys; Jimmy and Daisy. We followed them for a while and referred to them as the badonka donkeys. They were really awesome and Pascal was fun to talk to. So many great people out here!

We took a break a little after 12:00 and realized it was a little early to beat the heat… later tomorrow! (Mom! I even took a small nap!) We stayed well hydrated and we hit Hauser Creek (which was bone dry), took a little break and started the dreaded climb out of the canyon. We hit it around 3pm and had some nice breezes to help us out.

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Break time!

We arrived at camp around 5:30-5:45pm. We made pretty good time!

Met more awesome hikers, Adam gave a few rides, we ate mashed potatoes with sriracha, chips and cheese, drank a celebratory beer, sat by a great campfire, and now… here I sit.

Writing. And getting a foot rub! Shhh… don’t tell the other hikers! ;)

Tomorrow we head out on the trail for 4 days. Then Adam picks us up for kickoff. Life is good.

G’nite!

A few more visuals from day 1:

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At Mile 1 of the PCT. I believe the only time we see such an official mile marker

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Pascal, Jimmy and Daisy

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