Sitting at Paradise Cafe enjoying a burger and a beer I sent a text off to my Aunt and Uncle letting them know I arrived early and I could be picked up any time. We were four hours early and the response I received was “we will be there within an hour”.
That rest of the day was spent relaxing as we were off trail with full tummies and clean from showers! My achilles was happy to not be hiking! Dinner and ice cream was coming!
The next day we went to kickoff stopping in warner Springs, Julian, and Mount Laguna making sure no one needed a ride. We arrived at Lake Morena on a cloudy windy afternoon and set up our tent expecting some weather.
After a walk around the limited vendors still in their booths we called it a night… Wind, wind, more wind, and finally rain, rain, rain allowed us to really test out our tent! I am happy to say we were well sheltered from the elements. I believe many people changed their sleeping shelters the next day because of their experience this night.
I was pleased to see a few old friends like Andrea and Toto before leaving. Kickoff was a bit off from last year for me. The energy was just not the same. I’m not sure if it was the 150 trail miles or the bad weather but we decided to leave on Saturday afternoon. Stopping at the “ride needs” board before leaving we were able to give a ride to another couple back to Warner Springs.
On the way we stopped in to see Dave at the Laguna Mountain Outfitters. Butterfly needed new pants as her Mountain Hardware zip offs zipper had already broken. With new pants and coffee from our friends at Pine House Cafe we whisked down the highway towards Julian with our two additional thru-hikers and now a tent for another thru-hiker staying outside of Julian. His tent did not make it through the storm and I agreed to deliver the newly purchased one on my way to Warner Springs.
Tent delivered and riders dropped off at Warner Springs we spent the next few days with Scott and Robin our gracious hosts who provided us some much needed recovery time. As well as duckling sightings!
150 miles into the PCT and I am still in awe every moment by the trail, the kindness of the people in my life and complete strangers, and how absolutely awesome life is!
I am lucky!