Kindly got a lift out to the Starting Terminus by a ‘Trail Angel’ called Tiffany..
‘Trail Angels’ are those who go out of their way to help hikers.. anything from lifts.. leaving caches of water in the desert.. or cooking up BBQ’s at unspecified places on the Trail! Thank you all!
Left the PCT Terminus at the Mexican/US border at 0755 and hiked to a place called Hauser Creek where I set up camp for my first night! Met bundles of similarly minded hikes also on their first day out.. we all had a ball!
Within my first hour.. on that first day I rounded a corner to see my first whopper of a rattler.. almost 3 meters/8 feet of hissing rattling anger! He was likewise NOT happy to see me?! Eventually though he slid away into the scrub and kindly let me pass! Within the day however.. I almost stepped on a smaller one.. not more that 15 to 20 centimeters from my path.. he likewise hissed n rattled apparently as surprised as I was.. I in turn yelped n jumped a further meter.. before he too slid into the scrub! (They say each hiker on average will see 2 Rattlers on the PCT??! I hope this means I’ve seen my two?!)
All up.. a gorgeous day of scenery.. in this very unforgiving land!
PCT DAY 2.. April 7th 15 miles 8C
Woke after a good nights sleep at 5am n scaled the switch back to the top of Hauser mountain.. before passing Lake Morena and heading on to camp day 2 at Kitchener Creek.. another gorgeous spot! A hard day.. n felt the aches and pains of starting out! Hope I acclimatize and my body soon accostimises itself to this new routine!
PS.. Got given my ‘Trail name’ today! A kind of custom here on the trail.. As I’ve seen the biggest rattle snake yet.. and TWO in one day.. I’m henceforth called ‘The Rattler’!
PCT DAY 3.. April 8th 13 miles -2C 30-60 m/h winds
Woke to howling winds and a sky threatening to rain?! Packed up and had a good hearty breakfast of Idaho Potatoes and Bacon bits with creamed coffee!
Set off walking and met up with Papa and Frostie.. (2 other hikers with their trail names!) Hiked the whole day through rolling mountains sometimes looking rather more like green Irish hills! Misty most of the morning then rained on and off through mid day.. before the sun came out but the wind increased to gale force!
Arrived at Mt Laguna around 3pm.. had a shake down with the pack and lost about 4 kilograms of hitherto unused items! Burger and fries for dinner at the diner with Papa and Frosty n then off to bed in the Burnt Rancheiro Campground.. the wind still howling outside at gale force.. temperature at -2C and fell asleep!
PCT DAY 4.. April 9th 16 miles.. Nil wind! Warming up!
Woke late at 8am.. packed and left Mt Laguna after another full and hearty breakfast at the nearby diner.. spectacular scenery all day hiking paths cut into the mountains.. sheer drop offs with spectacular vistas!
Stopped at the equally scenic ‘Boulders Campground’ after an epic day’s hike and a few raw spots under foot?! Enjoyable hike with Papa and Frosty.. and bumped into what seems to be becoming a regular crowd of surrounding hikers on the PCT!
Awesome sunset and picture of my tent amongst the boulders!
PCT DAY 5.. April 10th 17 miles Very hot hike!
Up at 5am and resupplied with water from a nearby creek in the morning as the next water would not be for another 15 miles! Another very scenic day.. with stunning vistas of the surrounding desert.. and some flowering cactai! The desert blooms are starting to show!
Saw another black snake with a white strip down its entire length as we were resupplying for water at a spigot in the afternoon! I don’t think he was at all afraid of us.. in fact I think he was very happy we’d let a puddle develop under the spigot as he took the chance to quench his thirst when we were only a meter or so away chatting!
Another GORGEOUS day! Bring it on!
PCT DAY 6.. April 11th 18 miles 35C during the day!
Woke at 5.30.. not a great sleep! Breakfast of Idaho Potatoes and Tuna.. getting a bit sick of Idaho Potatoes as have had them for breakfast each day to give me the energy for the day! Packed up and left mile 73 at 7.30..
Stocked up on water under the bridge at the Scissor Crossing cache.. 6 liters as had to make it last all the way to mile 91.2.. the Third Gate Cache and Camping! Spectacular scenery but very harsh.. hot and dry! Dry and cracked lips despite lip balm applied every half an hour or so?! A walk in the flower garden of blooming cactai as we climbed the switch back up into the mountains! STUNNING!
Made the Third Gate by 5.30pm set up camp.. ate delicious chicken that I’d previously dehydrated.. and in bed by 8pm! Smelling pretty off.. and can’t wait to have a shower and launder clothes that can by now almost stand on their own with the daily salt.. sweat and dust! Feeling pretty grubby as the dirt and dust is now ingrained in my skin!
Looking forward to ‘hopefully’ a shower and laundry in Warner Springs by tomorrow night if we make it the 19 miles there?! Fingers crossed! Another INCREDIBLE day.. Nite Nite!
PCT DAY 7.. April 12th 19 miles 35C
Beautiful walk through wild meadows.. blistering mountains.. pristine springs.. and passed the well known ‘Eagle Rock’!
Arrived in the beautiful little town of Warner Springs at 4pm and headed straight for the Community Center where we could get a few buckets of water.. and a towel for bathing.. and enough water and detergent for the first shower and wash of clothes since starting! OHHHHH.. it feels GREAT to be clean!! Slept like a log!!