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.
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.
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.
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.