PCT Day 1 – North of Campo

11.4 miles

The logistics:

We woke up at 7, got a taxi to El Cajon bus station, took the 830 bus to campo, got off the bus around 10, filled our water bottles and started road walking to the border. A couple driving to the border picked us up and gave us a ride the last mile. All the hikers at the terminus took a group photo, we went and touched the actual border wall, and then started hiking. The border was a rusted brown with really wicked barbed wire on top. We finally started hiking around 1130, stopped for some lunch at 1, then found our camp for the night around 630. We leap frogged a couple groups of hikers on our way, but don’t recognize anyone at our site tonight except 1 guy from the bus. By the time we setup our tent and made some food, everyone went to bed just around 7 (jet lagged or just nuts?)

The good:

  • This is the perfect terrain to ease in our hiking legs. So far no big uphills or downhills, just rolling terrain
  • It’s mostly sunny and warm, with a nice breeze
  • It’s nice to finally be on the trail. I was feeling a little anxious and impatient with all the traveling.
  • We had an amazing sunset
  • The bad:
    • The water sources for this first 20 mile stretch are questionable, so we’re carrying a lot of extra water weight today on top of 4 days of food, and we won’t be camping near water, which makes rationing harder
    • It started thundering while we were hiking up a canyon this afternoon, so we stopped and turned around to lower elevation. It then started hailing and turned to rain. We waiting around 15 min for thunder to pass and hiked with our rain gear on. Y’all know how I feel about rain.
    • I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. Carie was in front and passed by no problem, but I think my trekking pole spooked it and it reared up at me. I had a split second to see what was happening before I jumped back, yelled a terrified “holy shit”, and ran away like a child. Of course I was aware of rattlers before, but now I am on super duper high alert at all times.
    • Our lunch avocados aren’t ripe yet
    • There were 5 hikers in camp tonight, but everyone went to bed really early. Carie was bummed nobody was around to chat.


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