April 13, 2019
Campo to mile 11.3
Daily total: 11.3 miles
Running total: 11.3 miles
Some people start practicing packing and unpacking their pack months before their thru-hike- they can pack and unpack that shit in record time, and they know the best place for everything. Some people practice hiking with their equipment months before their thru-hike – some just go on long day hikes, others take legit backpacking trips- and they know what works and what does not. Some people start prepping their food resupply months before their thru-hike- they have their calories planned, their boxes packed & labeled, and some even took the time and brain power to dehydrate their own food! Some (most) people get to the trailhead early in the am to bang out the first few miles before the desert sun melts them alive…
Matt and I are not those people. Matt and I are the people that pack their packs for the first time the night before they leave for their thru hike- we didn’t even know if we would like our packs or if our stuff would fit! (And one of us even needed a reminder of how to close their pack…and if you guessed it was me, you’d be right…)
We are the type that are racing around a dark hotel room at 1am trying to pick out meals for the next few days…and weeks…and months, and fit them into boxes with mailing addresses. (Fail! We only had one box, so the rest of the food and resupply stuff went into bags, none of which we labeled with the correct addresses because we got tired… Sorry, Jesse!)
We are the type that hit the trail at 1330 on the dot, just in time for the hottest part of the afternoon…but we got there, and we started, one foot in front of the other.
My parents were awesome & dropped us off at the trailhead, then continued on to Arizona with a bunch of our stuff and two huge bags of laundry, thanks Mom!!
Our dear friends Jesse and Deanna hiked the first 5 miles with us- it was super cool to have them along!
We crossed some train tracks, saw a bunch of lizards and two snakes(only one rattler!), Enjoyed the beautiful wild flowers, and didn’t melt in the sun!
We got to our planned campsite just in time for us to learn that there are in fact mosquitos in Southern California, and we did in fact not pack bug spray. We quickly ate dinner and climbed into our tent…day one of our new life complete!
Happiness is: knowing that I have amazing and supportive friends and family. I often say that I am too selfish to have kids, but it is in moments like today that I realize just how selfless a parent needs to be. My parents did NOT want me quitting my job and living in the wilderness for five months- they are full of worries and fears, and yet they dropped me off, hugged me goodbye, and wished me a good hike- that is a sacrifice I’ll always cherish and appreciate.
And the generosity, kindness and support/excitement that our friends have shown us in preparing for and sustaining us through this hike has inspired me to be a better, nicer person! Thank you all!