Day 5, Mile 77.3 – The Beginning

We made it!! Well…we made it to the Beginning.

We were picked up at the airport in San Diego by a Trail Angel named “Frodo” (of “Scout and Frodo”) on the 21st. Trail Angels are amazingly generous people who donate their time/money/food/homes/cars/etc. to support thru hikers. There’s an incredible community of them scattered all along the trail, and for many Angels, helping hikers becomes a full-time job this time of year.

Scout and Frodo are legendary Trail Angels. They operate a well-oiled machine and provided a warmer welcome to the PCT than we ever could have hoped for. They pick hikers up at the airport/train station/bus station, provide computer/internet access, printouts of the PCT water report, fuel for your cookstove (since you can’t bring it on the plane), shipping materials for hikers who need to work on their resupply boxes, breakfast, dinner, and snacks, showers, beds/camping space, a ride to the trailhead, and more. This year, several HUNDRED hikers will come through Scout and Frodo’s – probably a quarter of all 2013 thru hikers, if not more. They. Are. Amazing.

We stayed at Scout and Frodo’s for one night with about 15 other hikers, and they drove us to the Southern Terminus of the PCT the next morning at 6am.

The home of our Trail Angels Scout and Frodo


They made amazing food for all the hikers!

We even enjoyed a cello concert by a hiker named Mark (aka “Cuddles”) – a professional cellist, who is thru hiking the PCT this year and playing shows in trail towns along the way

The monument at the Southern Terminus of the PCT

Obligatory photo

Touching the Mexican Border

We were planning to take it easy the first couple weeks – less than 12 mile days. But the severe shortage of water in southern California (this is a particularly dry year) has made it difficult. The first 20 miles of the PCT were waterless. So we decided to hike all 20 miles in one day, carrying 5 liters of water each.

Only 2,659 miles to go!

An umbrella helps keep the sun off and has quickly become our favorite piece of gear

The days are hot and the nights are cold out here. We try and get up by 5am and get most miles done in the morning and evening.

There was a freak storm on Thursday and we had to get all bundled up, rain coats and all. A couple hours later, it was horribly hot.

As of Day 5, we’ve made it 77.3 miles to a town called Julian and are currently about 35 miles ahead of schedule. We will spend a night here to rest (and shower!) before hiking on.

Mom’s Pie shop in Julian offers a free slice of pie with ice cream to all thru hikers

Mmmmmm….. pie

“Hiker Trash” – the common term for a group of loitering hikers

7 thoughts on “Day 5, Mile 77.3 – The Beginning

  1. Lydia

    Mark – it looks FANTASTIC! I speak for everyone when I say LOVE IT!! Ahead of schedule – SO PROUD of you guys!! We’ve got two installments so far and I’m HOOKED! Crazy weather – that can’t be easy…but I’ll bet free pie helps!
    By the way, I’ve decided to ‘measure’ how long you’ve been gone by how many Maru videos get posted…1 so far. Stay tuned.

  2. Mina Kumar

    What beautiful happy pictures! I can feel the excitement and adventure!
    Thank you for your wonderful card Ashleigh. Thank you guys for keeping us posted! Try to slow down some!

  3. Michael Donaldson

    Hey guys good travels on your adventure. Hope all goes well.

    Sue and I wish you well, and hope to see you on the West Coast sometime soon.


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