Before taking one step on the trail.

JMT 2011, Day 1 -- 8/29/11

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First Day

John Hapgood drove us up to Kennedy Meadows in his new truck Ė he wanted to test the gas mileage. We were going to leave at 7:00 am, but then we change to 10:00. Finally we were off right before noon. John has a new truck, a Ford 250, diesel. Was a nice ride. Most of us slept cause we were so tired from all the preparations.

We got to Kennedy Meadows store at 4:00pm. We kicked around for a few minutes Ė but didnít buy anything. After they closed up, Wes realized that he didnít have any TP. Pretty embarrising, trying to ask for it. But one of the employees has a Ĺ a roll in his truck that he gave us.

At the trail head, we took the normal starting pictures. A trail angel named Tom happened to be driving by, and he stopped to talk. Heís pretty famous for his hospitality to the hikers in this area. Told us about a nice camp site in 12 miles. We were appreciative, but not a chance that we would make it tonight.

It was 4:45 when we started hiking. We had heavy packs because we were carrying 9 days of food and lots of water. I had trouble as the straps kept slipping and needed constant readjustment.

We lost the trail in the sagebrush. We walked about 10 minutes across a field before finding a road that intersected the trail.

We hiked for about 1.5 hours till we got to a river crossing (map G8). We tanked up for dinner and walked another 20 minutes. We hiked about 5 miles today.

It got dark by 7:30pm. Lots of bugs where we put down for camp. Swarms of mosquitos. I am glad I brought lots of deet, because I am betting this is just a warm up for what we will be facing. Mosquitoes were very annoying as I tried to figure out how to set up Kenís tent for the first time (I should have practiced at home!). Took a good while to figure it out.

Even with all the bugs, we cooked and ate outside. Andrew seems fine with everything. It felt good to go to sleep.

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In Long Beach before jumping in the car to drive to the trail head.
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A trail angel spots us and stops for a chat before we get started.
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The starting point -- a famous PCT sign.
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My good friend John and his new truck. It was a nice ride.
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The three of us (Wes, Me, Andrew) for our final pic before starting.
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The first few miles were along this flat, desert like, meadow.