Campo to Lake Morena, 20 miles
Stay: Lake Morena campground, $5 for campsite
I prefer kilometres. They’re shorter.
Today in a nutshell: 1 snake lying across the path (not a rattler and it got away before I got a pic), lots of boulders, dirt/sandy trails all day long, lots of friendly hikers, hot sun, constant up and down and friendly campers.
I was up at 5:30am for a final breakfast at Scout & Frodo’s then 10 people piled into 3 cars for the 75km drive out to Campo, the starting point of the PCT, on the border of Mexico.
I was sad to say goodbye to Frodo & Scout and to leave the comfort of their home, but excited to be starting my journey. I was also a little nervous and couldn’t eat much for brekkie!
We arrived at the terminus and spent quite a while taking photos of everyone and I started walking around 7:45am. It was already warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket and was just wearing a long sleeve shirt (to protect me from the sun) and a skirt.
I was carrying 6 litres of water and hoping to make it 20 miles because there was no water between mile zero and 20.
By 9am it was hot and I had my umbrella up (rigged to my pack so I could use it hands free). The umbrella provided perfect shade but my body was definitely starting to overheat!
My pack weight including 6 litres of water and 2 days of food (to get me to the next town) was 15.7 kg but my backpack (Gossamer Gear Mariposa) held the weight quite comfortably and it was only at the 10 mile mark that I took it off for the first time.
When I arrived at the campsite at Lake Morena, I wasn’t sure which way to turn to find the Ranger’s station, so I turned right and as I walked past a white caravan, a lady came outside and told me I was walking the wrong way. She pointed out where I needed to go for the Ranger’s station then told me to leave my bag in front of their caravan as I was going to have to walk back this way anyway. She then went back inside the van and promptly came out with a giant-sized apple and gave it to me! I obviously had “starving” written all over my face after only eating 1 granola bar and 1 clif bar since leaving Scout & Frodo’s at 6am. (It was now 6:40pm).
I said thank you and walked off to the Ranger’s station to pay my $5 for the campsite then walked back to pick up my bag. The lady came out again and I stopped and chatted with her and 3 others for about 20 minutes. We had a wonderful chat and before I left they gave me barbecued chicken with asparagus, mushrooms and peppers to take away with me – I’m always so touched by the generosity of strangers. Thank you!
I also bumped into Bill & Jen at the campsite who are part of the mYAMAdventure 5 and whom I met up with in San Diego a few nights ago for the first time. They’re a terrific couple and lots of fun and I was very happy to see them again.
I’m now lying down and my head is throbbing and I’m not feeling very well – attributed to the hot day and possibly not enough fluids. I’ve just guzzled down a litre of water with electrolytes and a spoon of salt (not sure if this will help?) and vowed to make sure I drink enough each day from now on.
This just proves how delirious I was today in the scorching heat: I was convinced this was animal tracks!