Monday, April 7, 2014

PCT Day One (4/5/2014)

20 miles
Campo to Lake Morena 

Before our first day on the trail I had an exciting day and not in the good way. About 1 pm on the day before Mandie and I were to head off I got a call from my sister that my dad had suffered from a stroke. He was only about an hour and a half away so I hopped into my car and headed off to the hospital. Along the way I spoke to my sister and it sounded bad; he had no motor skills, was non-responsive, the works. While driving I kept thinking that I would arrive at his bedside and see the worst.  When I did arrive I was greeted with a fully alert, jovial father. Apparently there is a drug called TPA, or something like that, that when delivered to a stroke patient within the first few hours can all but reverse the effect of a stroke. It was a wonderful sight to see him doing so well. After he was stabilized, I headed back to San Diego to finish getting ready.

L to R: Robert, Kathy, Josh, Mandie, Eli, Carlos
It was a restless night with little sleep. Up at 4:30 am, to get ready and out the door at 6 am to head to the Southern Terminus. Carlos and Eli were our trail angels and drove us. Robert and Kathy came out to see us off which was great! Thanks guys. 

Josh high-fives Buddy
While at the terminus we met some other thru-hikers and a 7 year old boy named, Buddy, who was also hiking the PCT this year. I had heard about Buddy hiking this year and really wanted to meet him. I was stoked to see him at the trailhead. Did I mention it was cold and raining that morning? A fun way to start the hike. The rain eventually stopped and the beautiful San Diego weather came out. 

Josh signing the PCT Registry

Along the trail we also met a bunch of other thru-hikers. One of them, Tina, recognized Mandie & I from our blogs and said as we walked by her, 'Hey, you're Mandie and Josh!'  That totally made my day... To be recognized on the trail, too cool! We also met a couple from Germany, Ingred and Chris, Josh from Oregon and Monica, who had the same gaiters as Mandie. 

The first twenty miles are tough especially right off the gate. To make it even worse there is a mountain that needs to be ascended at mile 15. We had done this leg before so we knew what to expect, but that didn't make it any easier. 
PCT crossing train tracks

We got to Lake Morena, which we renamed to Morena Meadow since the lake has been drained, around 5 pm. We headed right to the food place, the name escapes me at the moment. We ordered two bacon cheese burgers and lots of drinks. The burger was amazing!!! After we were fed we headed to the camp ground, set up the tent and called it a night. 

It was a tough first day but a  very exciting  first day.