Scenery During First Few Miles of PCT

Day 1. Saturday May 7, 2005

Start: US/Mexico Boarder (Near Campo)

Stop: Lake Morena Campground

Mikes Hiked: 20.2

(Written night of Day 3.)

It's nice to have tested equipment. I don't. I am in the middle of a wind/rain storm and I am finding that my tent is not strong enough! Ken and I were pretty worried when we got to camp, cause on the way up here the wind was blowing hard. It was blowing so hard, that on some steps it would knock you sideways. Our chicks would fill up like a balloon if we opened our mouth.

I wanted to set up our tents on the grass in the picnic area (like the other hikers). But Ken looked for a spot more protected from the wind. The spot he found happens to be in a sandy/dirt area, between an off ramp and the embankment of a highway that we are near. Its yucky. Basically, we are camping in a deep ditch, near the highway. Now all the dirt is mud. Almost all my equipment is covered with dirt and mud.

The ground is very loose, so it doesn't hold stakes very well. I used large rocks and branches to secure the tent strings. It is about 9:30 pm, and one of my tent strings just broke, for the second time. At home, while making our homemade tents, Ken used nylon kite string for the strings to hold up the tent, to save weight. After the first string broke, I replaced a few of the strings with a heaver string that I was carrying for emergency. But I ran out of the heaver stuff before I could replace all of the smaller stuff, so three sides of my (5 sided) tent is still holding by the thin nylon string. I shored the currently broken string by using my pack as a weight.

I am writing this on day 3 of our PCT 2005 hike. I didn't start my journal until today, because I did not know if I was really committed to doing even a few days on the trail. Now that I have survived the first few days, I guess it is time to start this journal.

So, let me tell you about my trip, starting at the beginning, on day 1. We started the PCT at the Mexican Border, on Saturday, at 8:30 am. Ken, my son, plans to go the whole way (over 2600 miles) to Canada. I was going to accompany him for a few days, and then cut him loose, and I would continue at my slower pace for a few more days. My "sort of" goal was to walk back to my home in Long Beach after crossing the 10 Freeway, which is over 200 trail miles from the border.

On Day 1, we did pretty good. We got to Morena campground, after less than 8 hours of hiking. Morena campground is at mile 20.3 on the PCT. I was super tired, and I could barely walk after we got here.

It was fun to meet the other PCT hikers. A couple named Eric and April, a nice lady named Paula, and a couple from Holland.

That night, I had really bad cramps -- cramps attacks from all sides in my torso, and both legs. Some of the worst cramping attacks I have ever experienced.