Day 1 - Border to Lake Morena (mile 0-20)
Wow - what a day. I don't know where to start. Alarms went off at 5 for a 5:45 departure to the border. Frodo cooked a big breakfast - french toast, eggs, fruit, and muffins. I wasn't able to eat much so grabbed a muffin to go, but somehow managed to lose it between the kitchen and the car. The paltry breakfast and lack of dinner the night before came back to haunt me a few miles down the trail!
We all arrived at the border around 8am. I thought when I got to the border all of my fears would set in big time. I'm happy to report that wasn't the case! I think I was running on pure adrenaline - it was so exhilarating just to be there. Standing in this place I've seen pictures of and thought about for SO long, and finally here I was. Everyone took a bunch of pictures with the monument and the border in back, I called the fam to say one last goodbye from the border, and then we were all off!
The first 6 miles seemed to veritably fly by under my feet. Stopped after two hours of hiking to have a snack and change socks, and was pretty surprised to see 6 miles already completed. It was such a fun start - incredibly beautiful! I expected the scenery to be far more barren, so felt spoiled with all the vistas and bits of greenery. Plus, we all kept ourselves busy with pictures at the 1 mile marker, all the new and exciting PCT signs, etc. We also had our first trail magic! Booboo's Dad is following and supporting her first few weeks - and also supplying treats & drinks to hikers each day! Talk about a lucky time to get started.
Everything remained awesome until around mile 9, when the adrenaline seemed to wear off and my pace started to slow. It got much warmer (it was a beautiful day, no clouds in the sky, but started to get hot!) and fatigue started to set in. All the sudden I was more aware of the fact that I had a 30 pound pack on my back. Took lunch around mile 11, and had a nice rest and then hit the trail again. After more great scenery, the trail hit Hauser Creek (bone dry) before a 2.5 mile exposed slog straight uphill at 2 in the afternoon. The last 4 miles were sort of the opposite of the first 6 - they crawled by, I had a hard time enjoying the scenery, and the weather was significantly warmer than anything this Bay Area girl is used to. Eventually though, we made it to lovely Lake Morena. It's weird to think I'll be back here in a week and a half for kickoff. It's pretty quiet here now, so it's hard to imagine this place teeming with thru-hikers for a festival like kickoff weekend.
All in all, I'd say today was a great start, bumps along the way and all. Funny to experience such a range of emotions on the first day alone. I went from a ball of nerves and energy to pure adrenaline/elation/excitement about the journey, to pretty miserable and in some serious pain...and then back again! It's going to be an interesting trip...