“The AT is the love of my life, but the PCT is my mistress.” ~ Young Gun
We woke up in Fred Canyon, thankfully frost-free, but still cold. It’s been cold every night I’ve been out here so far. I sleep in wool baselayers, socks and a beanie in a zero degree quilt and it is just right. Toasty even. It makes it very difficult to get up and put stinky, cold clothes on in the morning.
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” ~ Alexander Supertramp (Chris McCandless)
There was a surprising amount of frost on my tent when I woke up this morning at Lake Morena campground! It made me glad that I brought a light pair of liner gloves, although I didn’t remember that I had them until after I froze my fingers putting away my tent stakes…next time, I suppose.
Trail Name ~ A nickname adopted by or given to a hiker, usually by other hikers.
After a fairly decent night of sleep, under a really bright full moon and the headlamps of a few night hikers, we all woke up early hoping to hit the upcoming climb out of Hauser Canyon before the day got really warm.
It was pretty exciting to drive up to the border this morning and see the Southern Terminus of the PCT come into view. Mom and I were both a little emotional, so I signed the trail register quickly, we took a few photos, and had our hugs and goodbyes. It all felt a bit surreal to finally be standing there. I checked in with “Terminus Tom”, the Forest Service trailhead volunteer, and got the water report and a quick rundown of restrictions and LNT principles. Then he said, “Ok now, get walking,” so I did – after he pointed out which way the trail went. In my defense, it wasn’t obvious.
“Layin’ sick, honey, on my bed…” ~ Skip James, Sick Bed Blues
I picked up a hitchhiker in Yosemite. A quick visit to an urgent care clinic in Palm Springs revealed my passenger to be a virus of some sort, which means that an upper respiratory infection will be my hiking partner for a little while. I’m hopeful that cold medicine and a sinus rinse (that’s a weirdly addicting practice…) will knock it back soon!
While I was in the hotel hot tub last night hoping to boil the little virus bastards to death, I happened to meet a man and woman who were taking a break from their 33-mile bicycle trip and we got to talking about hiking, backpacking and outdoorsy things. When I mentioned that I am hoping to thru-hike the PCT, she generously offered to let me stay at her vacation home in Northern California and to help me with my resupply when I get there. People can be so amazing!
Another bright spot in my day was getting a chance to FaceTime with my brother Patrick’s family, who live in the D.C. area. A couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law sent a little Pusheen coin purse for me to bring along as a lucky charm, and also so my niece Olivia can have a fun way to follow it’s journey. I’m a little superstitious, so I already had a little collection going…
…plus, who can say no to this face??
So, despite being a little under the weather, I feel a lot of love and good vibes from friends and family, in person and on Facebook, that will help me get going tomorrow!
Last Monday, Mom (my chauffeur to the trailhead) and I left rainy, gray Southwest Washington and headed South on I-5. Yesterday, we arrived in sunny Mariposa, California, a cute little town on Highway 140 with a history as a mining town and a gateway to Yosemite National Park. Continue reading “Halfway To The Beginning”
“I got a question for you, another question for you…” Franz Ferdinand, What She Came For
Whenever I tell someone that I’m taking off to hike the PCT, I inevitably get the same questions. So I’ve decided to do a Q & A here for anyone I haven’t talked to already. I think these cover the basics… Continue reading “FAQs”