On Tuesday morning we woke up at Scout and Frodo’s at around 5, put our bags out the front of the house on the porch and had breakfast. This consisted of egg frittata, which is kind of like an omelette but baked in a casserole dish.
By 6 we were out of the house, just as it was starting to get light. We were driven to the border by another volunteer who does this about twice a month. He had done the PCT a couple of years back with his son but went from Canada to Mexico. He was great guy and was pointing out the sights along the way, including a section of the PCT we would hike on Day 2. As we got closer to the border you could see border patrol station, helicopters and quad bikes.
Then the monument came into sight and none of the pics and videos we’d seen had prepared us for this. It’s then you realise you are really doing this!
We got our picture with the monument and even got to touch the fence on the Mexican border. At about 8 we started hiking full of excitement about what lies ahead. Our bags were about 10kg heavier than our baseweight as we were carrying food for 3 nights and water for 20 miles. This made the first day quite tough as our packs were around 15-18 kg each.
The temperature wasn’t too bad till about 11. Then needed to stop a lot and drink a lot. The views in desert section are spectacular: much more green than expected with lots of wild flowers.
From 12 till 2 we waited out the heat of the desert in the shade. After a climb over a ridge we made it to our camping spot for the first night (15.4 miles in) We sat out on our ground sheet. Had our evening meals and set up camp. We were shattered from carrying the weight so were ready for bed at about 7.
Day Two started at 5. We woke up and packed away our tent and then pushed up the hill climb to a beautiful breakfast spot. Breakfast was what we’ll be having most days out here, porridge oats with nuts and dried fruit for flavour. We then dropped down into Lake Morena and continued on to a camping spot called Boulder Oaks for lunch. We had a siesta till 2 and then continued on.
From here we pressed on to a creek where we stopped to fill up our water and have a dip in the stream. We spent quite a bit of time here before heading out to camp for the night at mile 32.
So far the people we’ve met on trail have been lovely. Everyone is out here for a different reason but there is a real spirit of comradely. We have also been surprised at how many foreigners are on the trail with us. Joal has met a fellow hiker from the Netherlands, whilst the hiker who has travelled furthest was from South Korea.
Day 3 started with a hill climb. In order to make this as easy as possible we set off at dawn (5.45) and had breakfast at the peak. This is a great way to see everyone as you are first on trail but then are passed by the speedy gang you don’t normally see till town.
As we climbed we hit pine forest which was magical. Videos don’t do it justice as the smells and sounds of the forest are amazing. 10 miles later we hit Mount Laguna where we stopped and set up camp.
Mount Laguna is a town with a population of 60. The town only really seems to exist to serve PCT hikers with shops having “PCT opening times” (regular hours are 5-7 Friday -Sunday whilst in hiker season it is 12-7). Jen also enjoyed her first American beer in a brown paper bag sitting on the porch of a general store.
For the rest of the day we rested in camp whilst enjoying America’s finest cuisine (hot pockets and frozen breakfast burritos).