April 14, 2019
Mile 11.3 to 26.1
14.8 PCT miles + .6 miles off trail for snacks
Daily total: 15.4 miles
Running total: 26.7 miles
It’s so hard to wake up when it’s cold out and you’re warm and toasty inside your tent. Lucky for Matt, the warm desert sun rose quickly this am, and by 8am I was racing to pack my stuff and get out of the tent, which was quickly starting to feel like an oven.
Morning one and we already worked out a system I think will work: Matthew gets up first and prepares and eats his breakfast while I sleep in a bit longer;), tend to my blisters, and pack up- then I go eat while Matt packs his stuff. Since we use everything we brought, we literally unpack our bags each night and repack again in the am- it’s a bit time consumingc but i am sure as we have more practice this process will go a bit quicker…
This AM we started hiking around 0845.
Today we had our first bit of elevation gain climbing out of Hauser Canyon, 1177feet in about 3.5 miles. That’s more or less pretty similar to Iron Mountain in San Diego, a mountain that I used to trail run parts of! But today I definitely wasn’t running- maybe it was the heat? Or our 32.5lb packs (we finally weighed them fully-loaded before setting off!)- or the fact that I hadn’t worked out in a really long time- but it kinda kicked my butt! I needed frequent shot-bloks and water breaks.
This climb can be pretty brutal for quite a few people- we read about someone the other day who suffered from heat exhaustion and ended up quitting her thru-hike- and she isn’t alone! Hauser Canyon is notorious for weeding people out- it’s a common quitting place for many, which is wild since it’s only day 2!! And our EMT friend confirmed it- he has told us that he rescues a ton of PCT hikers within the first two days of their thru-hike, many of which end up quitting. I’m glad we made it through the first obstacle:)
After climbing out of the canyon, we made our way to Lake Morena, the first town along our hike, sitting at mile 20. We walked a little off trail to the Oak Shores Malt Shop (guys, I was picturing like 1950’s Grease/Diner themed ice cream parlor on a lake…it was a convenience store that sold ice cream. And no lake.) I downed a Gatorade and a banana, while Matt indulged in quite the delicious cookies and cream milk shake. We ended up taking a 2 hr+ break!
From there we decided to hike on a bit- there were a bunch of tent-sites every few miles coming up, so we decided to walk until we felt like stopping. At mile 23 we had to make a decision: stay there, carry on to paid camping at mile 26.1, OR head to free camping at mile 27.4- we decided it was too early to stop, so on we walked.
Around 6pm we came to Boulder Oaks Camp Ground at mile 26.1, where a man called out to us, “do you guys want food?!?” We were sold. We spent the evening with Steve, our first trail angel, a handful of other thru-hikers- and get this!! One of them was the girlfriend of the man I posted about a few weeks back that hiked 118 miles for vegan waffles!!! Small world!! Good people, and good rest in our tent.. and I don’t believe we had to pay?
Happiness is: craving an egg-salad sandwich ALL day, hiking 15.4 miles, and pulling up to camp to find trail angel Steve offering you one!!! I ate that up, along with the most delicious tangerine ever, while Matthew enjoyed a tuna sandwich and a few beers. Steve supplied sandwiches, soda beer, bagels, and doughnuts!!
**Still trying to figure out the best way to add photos…here are a bunch from day 2 (maybe repeats from day 1, too??)**