My family drove me down to Campo this morning and sent me off. Snapped a few pictures, gave hugs and love, and I started the trail. It was a pretty awesome morning. The weather was perfect and cool. I don't think I fully realized how long today's hike would actually be. About 2 miles in, I met Emmy and Russell, a couple also attempting the thru hike.
Then later I met a scientist dude named Zeffer (not a trail name), then shortly after that Britany from Marin County. For the most part we all stuck together but went at different paces, passing each other up. Houser Creek was the entry point to a brutal climb, one that made me regret having ever smoked a cigarette in my life. We ascended through rolling mountains that had a mix of granite and green vegetation. Make no mistake, the desert is bursting with life. It's a massive ecosystem with a lot of players, and springtime means party time. I saw 2 big rattlers, several rabbits, hawks, an owl, wild turkeys, and pack of monitor lizards. The wet winter transformed the SoCal desert into a giant oasis. I can't remember another time in my life when it was this lush.
Met too many hikers to count today. A huge group of them started right after I did. It's a busy year. I met a few cool folks that I think I'll probably hike with in and out. I'm still slow, out of shape and ascending elevation rapidly kills me. We climbed 2 massive hills before getting to camp at Moreno Lake. We talked a lot about trail names, which will be interesting when someone actually makes me.
When I got to mile 18 my mind started playing tricks on me, thinking that I was hiking faster than I actually was. It got HOT. When I finally got into camp the group I was with earlier in the day was chilling. I hiked from 7:45am - 5:22pm. A full day's work. My foot looks a little funky so I had to do some frontier medicine.
I made camp with Justin and Jaime who are friends that met attempting a PCT thru hike last year. They're funny as hell. I think I'll stick with them for a minute.
I'm still up, I should be in bed but I can't stop thinking about what I'm going to deal with next and how I will deal with it. Overall today's was a solid one, I didn't think I would actually hike 20 miles on the first day.