At the start of every backpacking season, when I put on my pack, it feels like my first time backpacking all over again.
We begin our journey at Campo. Loaded with water. Filled with anticipation.
We get to our first camp 15.5 miles in. Sore from the pack. Out of water the last mile. “We’re hiking the PCT!” we still say with a bit of disbelief as we make dinner in the dark.
A couple days later, we’re sitting under a bridge, soaking our feet in a stream, laughing at dad who is trying to remember why he is out here.
And then I catch the trail crud. Either from dad or somewhere else. Doesn’t matter. I want the world to go away.
But we hike on.
Blaze and I make a 12 mile dash one morning to get to the post office before it closes so that we can get the resupply boxes we had mailed ourselves. That was a haul. We get there ten minutes late and give our sweetest smiles to the post lady. She gives us our packages and life is really good at that moment. Though Blaze is calling me Monster for making her hike so fast.
We spend the the rest of the day laying in the shade.
It is hard to leave the shade the next day. I spend about half an hour staring at my sleeping bag trying to will it and the rest of my things back into my pack, and get the willpower to move forward.
Thru soreness, a bad head cold, fever, upset stomach.
We make it 77 miles to Scissors Crossing. It’s been 8 days on trail. We meet an angel sitting by the trail. An angel with cold beer, fruit, and pie. I wonder at first if it is all a mirage.
Time to give our bodies a brief respite. After spending an amazing break eating oranges, we hitch into Julian where I am thrilled at the hot shower.
The blooming cactus have been
We laugh with other hikers as we hobble around a camp. You start to recognize hikers by the hobble.
A hot shower and a bed with a real pillow have never been so amazing.
One night to luxuriate in civilization. Hiking ever onward in the morning.
I’m not dead yet.