Date: 08 Apr 2018 07:38PM PDT
Location: Camping near mile 17.4
Today's Miles: 17.4
Total Miles: 17.4
Solid first day on trail.
Woke up early and lounged around at a family's home in San Diego. Double checked all my gear, neatly staged a few packages for later sending up the trail, had a cup of tea while my host got ready for the day.
Two of my aunts volunteered to drive me out to the southern terminus in Campo, CA, but not before taking me to one of their favorite breakfast spots. Delicious SoCal Mexican-inspired food ensured.
Arrived at the terminus shortly after 1000. Chatted with a PCTA volunteer who was giving hikers one final Leave No Trace briefing, as well as checking permits. Took pictures at the monument, hugs and kisses all around, off into the desert I walked.
Pretty stark contrast to where I hiked last year up north. Absolutely nothing like Washington or Oregon, and even though the northern Sierras started to get pretty dry atmospherically, it was nothing like this high desert I'm walking through.
A welcome challenge to say the least. I'll need to make sure to pace myself even though I've got relatively solid trail legs under me. Florida ain't know for its huge elevation gains.
I attempted to uncollapse the trekking poles I brought along, but apparently they're corroded shut from the last time I used them in Florida a month ago. I managed to get one of them apart after much banging against a tree, but the other one refuses to open up. Might have to just order another set when I get good enough reception.
They did well, over 2,750 miles on them. Couldn't have asked for more, really. Good on you Black Diamond.
Found a nice little single tenting spot up on a ridge a few miles before Lake Morena. Was planning on heading all the way, but it would have been another few miles up hill and I decided to stop at a beautiful little spot under a tree overlooking the lake. didn't want to mess with that this early in.
On an unfortunate side note, there are SO many people out here. I passed multiple hikers today, and at one large shaded spot mid day there were over fifteen hikers lounging about. About twenty people were camped down below my spot for the night at Hauser, definitely too early to deal with all that noise.
Starting to really see the appeal of going Sobo. BUT, it's still great to be back.