Well, this is it. Tomorrow I start my thru-hike of the PCT.
Today, my alarm went off at 4:30, and I was quickly wide awake and ready to head to the airport, despite only getting about 4 hours of sleep. Both of my parents also awoke at this ungodly hour to drive me to the airport. Everything went smoothly, and I quickly checked my bag and moved through security.
I got to my gate with a lot of time to kill, and as I was aimlessly clicking through apps on my phone, I discovered that my favourite hiking podcast, Sounds of the Trail, had released their first episode of this thru-hiking season. It was titled “Anticipation”. How serendipitous is that.
Time passed surprisingly quickly and soon we were boarding. It took a little over 5 hours to get from Toronto to San Diego. I spent the flight dozing and listening to my PCT playlist, and then gazing in awe out the window as we flew over the mountains of Colorado and the canyons of Utah and Arizona. And then we flew directly over the trail as we crossed Southern California!! I had thought about reading a book on my phone, but my mind was too jumpy to really focus on any kind of entertainment. Still, the flight somehow passed quickly.
Once I got off the plane and collected my bag, I headed out to find the spot where the trail angels had arranged to pick us up. There were three other hikers there too, Tom (also from Canada) and a couple from Germany, Carmen and Mike. We got picked up in a van by Pepa, a hiker who is spending a month volunteering with Scout and Frodo.
Scenes at Scout and Frodo’s
Scout and Frodo’s place is absolutely amazing!! They have a beautiful yard, all set up with big white tents for the hikers to sleep in. They had a delicious lunch set out when we arrived, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon staring at my gear, meeting other hikers, and trying to wrap my head around what the hell I’m about to do. It still doesn’t feel real.
We had an absolutely amazing dinner provided by Jim from the PCTA, and dessert from Anita, who owns Mom’s Pies in Julian (home of the free hiker pie!). We have definitely been spoiled here. After dinner we put the final touches on our gear for tomorrow (ie. filled up our water bottles), and now I’m lying in the dark in the tent in the backyard, still not sure if this is really my life.
It’s pretty chilly now that the sun has gone down, and I’m excited to snuggle up in my cozy quilt. It’s only 8pm, but I’m getting pretty sleepy due to the time change and general sleep deprivation from last night (plus, 9pm is hiker midnight!!).
Home for the night.
Tomorrow, we’ll get up at 5am, have a quick breakfast, and head for the southern terminus. More from the trail tomorrow (eep!).