Southern Terminus(0.0) to Hauser Creek(15.4) 15.4
Welcome back everyone! I feel so incredibly happy to be back out on the trail again. I titled today's post "The Dagobah System" because that is where Yoda calls home and The trail feels like home to me. After finishing the AT last September I was incredibly lucky to get a job working in Telluride, CO. I met a lot of wonderful people, but more importantly I made enough money to spend this hiking season on The Pacific Crest Trail.
I flew into San Diego early yesterday morning and I stayed with local trail angels, Scout and Frodo. They hiked the pct several years ago and enjoyed the hiker culture so much that they decided to spend their time hosting hikers every season. Last year they hosted over 300 and this year they have 600 hikers reserved. They refuse to take any money to offset their costs, absolutely amazing!
Scout picked me up at the airport, they fed me lunch, answered a ton of my questions, and took all 22 hikers staying with them to an event for hikers at a local outfitters, Adventure 16. Usually Frodo and Scout feed the hikers staying with them dinner, but last night Adventure 16 fed us pizza, let us go shopping in the store, and they had a huge pct event where they showed a movie featuring last years pct thru-hikers. It was a great evening, the only negative thing was we didn't get home until 10. I had been up since 4:30 am eastern time. I finally got to bed at 11:15 and I slept like a rock.
Breakfast was served at 5:30 this morning, but we had to have everything packed up and ready to go before we could eat. I got up at 4:45, so it was another night with not a lot of sleep.
We had 14 of 22 hikers staying at the house that started the trail this morning. Other trail angels pitch in to shuttle us to the trailhead, 75 minutes away. Scout and Frodo run the whole operation with military precision.
The pct allows 50 hikers per day to start the trail. I saw a very good amount of those hikers throughout the day. I let most of the group start before me so I could get a solo picture at the monument.
I finally started my pct thru-hike at 7:30! It didn't take very long for it to heat up. Before the hike I managed to cut my pack weight down to 13.4 lbs. The most difficult part of S. California is the lack of reliable water sources. The first 20 miles are completely dry. As a result I was forced to either hike 20 miles today or carry 7L of water and have a dry camp. Since I have done next to zero physical activity in the last four months, I decided to only hike 15 miles and carry the water. In case you didn't know 1L of water weighs 2.2 lbs. I carried 15.4 lbs of water 15.4 miles. It was not very much fun. By 8:30 it was very hot out, by 10:30 it was miserable. Without all of that water weight I think today would have gone smoother. I managed to crank out 8 miles before noon, but after that I struggled. Anytime I found a good bit of shade I would stop for a long break. The last 3 miles were downhill and I'm having a lot of pain in my left knee. All I could do was suck it up and keep moving forward.
I made it to camp around 4:30, it is ironically called Hauser creek, even though there is no water flowing. I relaxed in the shade until it cooled down a little bit, then I set about doing my camp chores. About half of the people who started today are camped here, but the other half pushed into Lake Morena.
If you are interested in what I'm carrying on the trail this year check out the tab called pct gear list. It is a very detailed list of everything in my pack, how much it cost, and how much it weighs.
Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fill your soul
- Jaime Lyn Beatty