We woke up this morning with the sun, packed up our gear, and hit the trail by 7am. I was out in front, eyes glued to the map, reporting mileages, landmarks, and pacing; Don was bringing up the rear, a steady source of encouragement and positivity. While I worked and re-worked the numbers, Don took in the big picture. He pointed out scenes that I otherwise would have missed, and I kept our water in check and kept tabs on how many more miles we’d be climbing. This all felt very familiar. Actually, it felt just like bike tour! The comparisons between hiking the PCT and biking across the country are plentiful, from the early days of planning and rationing food to the anticipation we feel in the evenings when we start looking for that perfect campsite. Fortunately for us, we loved bike tour and were sad when it came to an end after 70 days. Now we have all summer to come up with systems, feel our bodies become stronger and healthier, and earn that incomparable sense of accomplishment.
Day 2: This Feels Familiar
May 2, 2015
Campsite on trail (12.5) to Creekbed near Buckman Springs Road (25)
12.5 miles today
25 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 2,007 ft, – 2,119 ft
It was another good day of hiking, and we were happy to keep our mileage to another 12.5 miles since we are beginning to feel some of the soreness that comes from long hot days carrying a loaded pack. Neither Don nor I have any blisters or hot spots (we elevate our feet and dry out our socks a few times every day), but we do have sore shoulders, backs, hips, legs, and feet.
Our hike today had us climbing out of a canyon for a few miles before arriving at the first source of water since the border, the Lake Morena campground. There was a group of hikers hanging out at the PCT site, so we dropped our bags, chugged some water, and prepared to wait out the hottest hours of the day. We spent most of the time with our new friends, Ryan and Chris, from Austin, Texas. It was fun getting to know a few fellow hikers and swapping stories and plans. We finally headed back out around 3 and hiked another 5 miles to tonight’s campsite – a beautiful plot of land surrounded by grass and just off the trail. My favorite time of day, out here and back on bike tour, is setting up camp, because it truly feels like home is wherever we place our tent. Don usually does the cooking (just like at home) and I organize camp and start in on some writing. It is just about as domesticated as can be out here on the trail. Tonight will be our first full moon and we look forward to another night of deep sleep.