Day 1 – And so it begins!!!!

Day 1 – April 14th 2018
Southern Terminus to Hauser Creek
Mile 0 to 15.26

Just as I thought, no-one needed a wake up call this morning. You could hear people starting to stir at 03:30 and by 04:00 everyone was up and packing for the big day. Breakfast is served at 05:30. And similar to dinner, breakfast consisted of home made French toast, scrambled eggs, egg fritatta, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. Again, all homemade with Love, compliments of Scout and Frodo. During breakfast, Scout does roll call to make sure everyone is accounted for and by 0600 we are rolling out of their drive in a convoy of six vehicles, driven by friends and volunteers, including the amazing author of the PCT Halfmile map system which provides incredible detail of the trail which every hiker downloads for free and uses extensively during their hike. The day couldn’t have been better. We arrive at the South Terminus and after customary photo’s, we are on our way by 08:00. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the sound of gravel beneath the feet and song birds fill the air. In short time you begin climbing into a series of hills and switch backs. The sun is also rising in the sky and before long, the temperature has risen and things start heating up. Based on Scout and Frodo’s advice, you start with 6 litres of water which makes for a very heavy pack as each litre adds approximately 2.2 pounds of weight. But out here, not having sufficient water is simply not an option. By mile 4 you come across a trickle of a stream which is a good place to replenish the litre you have already consumed and an opportunity to camel up ( drink as much as you can at a water source) before carrying on. By lunch time, 7 miles have sped by so it’s time for a rest and some lunch in whatever shade you can find. The trail winds up and down through a series of rock laden hills and by 6 o’clock you find yourself descending steeply into Hauser Creek, a small oasis at the bottom of a ravine within a dry creek bed. A perfect spot to call it a day.

 

Day 0 – The night before .. ..

Day 0 – Friday April 13th
San Diego

In preparing to hike the PCT over the years,  I read so much about two amazing trail angels in San Diego who open their home and their hearts to countless hikers every year. Barney (Scout) and Sandy (Frodo) Mann are two retired professionals who completed the PCT together in 2007 and since that time Scout has completed the Appalachian Trail (ADT) as well as the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), making him one of the few and respected Triple Crown long distance thru hikers. I couldn’t think of a better way of beginning my own adventure than spending an evening with these two incredible people in their home along with 38 other hikers from around the world. And I couldn’t have been more right. Scout and Frodo are truly amazing. Not only do they host hikers from March until May, they pick them up at the airport, put you up for the night in one of their guest rooms ( their three children are all grown and living elsewhere), in one of the five large tents in the back yard or if you’re really lucky, in their incredible tree house which Scout and his son built which features electric lighting, a loft and a queen size bed. But it doesn’t end there. They prepare a delicious home made dinner and dessert for everyone then host a post dinner talk. Our dinner consisted of stuffed pasta shells (with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, Swiss chard, ), garlic bread, salad, roasted broccoli, and maple sliced cupcakes with home made butter cream icing. As Sandy says, it’s important that ” our hikers” start the trail well fed. Following dinner Scout and Frodo had a post dinner talk with the group in their back yard. The talk consisted of a little history of the trail, safety, personal responsibility, looking out for each other and trail etiquette. It wasn’t long before the sun set and everyone headed to their assigned tents for a restless sleep in anticipation of the big day. Wake up call is 05:00, which I don’t think anyone will need !!!!

It’s Really Happening !!!!!

IMG_5355.JPGi just arrived in sunny and beautiful San Diego !!!! Dinner at the Fish Market overlooking the water this evening, last minute errands tomorrow at AT&T ( for a SIM card), REI and Adventure16 tomorrow then onto Scout and Frodo’s to meet some fellow hikers on Friday and a restless night with little sleep in anticipation of what lies ahead before beginning the amazing Pacific Crest Trail. I can’t wait !!!!!

It’s Official !!!

It’s official !!! The PCT Long-distance Permit has arrived. The adventure begins on April 14th starting at the southern terminus at the Mexican border. I arrive in San Diego on April 11th to pick up some last minute items and do a little sight seeing then will spend the night before the trek at Scout and Frodo’s home, two amazing Trail Angels who have both experienced the magic of the Pacific Crest trail and who want to give back by opening their home every year to countless hikers who are about to embark on the journey of their lives.  Scout and Frodo go out their way to retrieve hikers from the airport, take them into town for last minute supplies, provide a dinner the night before and an early breakfast before shuttling them to the trailhead. They also answer questions and provide insight to those looking for advice from their combined voice of experience. Wonderful people who just want to give back to the Trail. So looking forward to meeting them !!!