Starting something new is bound to have small mishaps. The beginning of this journey began late and ended late, but there were a lot of things to see.
When reading about the desert portion of the PCT (basically everything from the Mexican border until mile 700, Kennedy Meadows) I hear about how much everyone hated that part. “There was nothing to look at,” “everything is dry and dead,” “it’s hot.” It makes me feel sorry for those people. What I experienced these past couple of days was amazing. I saw a lush area with flowing springs and wildflowers in every color. It saddens me that people concentrate on the heat and the mileage and don’t take the time to see what is actually there. This is my perspective:
As we walked along the trail, shoes crunching the ground beneath us, the breeze played with the tall grass that glistened in the afternoon sun. The earth was vibrant with color. The wildflowers making recent fires a distant memory. On the breeze was the faint smell of the ocean. You could almost taste the sea air. The birds were alive with the blooming of Spring; singing to one another, aflutter with joy. Tiny springs worked to erode the hills, babbling as they went. All around life was blossoming and allowed us to take part in the celebration.
How can anyone walk through all that and not see it? Was it hot? Yes! But if that’s all it takes to ruin your sight, go home now. I had an amazing time easing in to my journey. My mom and I wore day packs and wanted to make it just 5 miles the first day before my dad picked us up. We underestimated how far it was until the next road and ended up walking 11 miles. It was dark by the time we got to camp. It was tiring, but my dad spoiled us by finding us and bringing lunch. We were so tired by the end of the day, we scarfed down Subway sandwiches and went straight to sleep.
Day 2 was a lot like this. I was brought tea in the morning, lunch on the trail (where we shared beer and water with other hikers), and my parents even drove to get me fish tacos. I ended the day with homemade cake (I shared that too… it was his birthday after all). I don’t mind if I’m spoiled. My family loves me and they want to do this with me.
Tonight is my first night alone and I’m trying not to be nervous about it. I’m glad I broke bread (or cake) with other hikers. It’s nice to feel like I have someone around if I need help. But I have weather on my mind. Those carefree cirus clouds we saw yesterday are usually a warning and the clouds tonight make me worry. I hope I can sleep.