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  • gspencer16

Day 1: Mexico Border to Hauser Creek (15.4 miles)

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

May 8, 2016 - 5:30am came way too early this morning as I was up too late trying to take care of stuff but I knew I would be able to get some sleep on the plane. I was able to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day before I left to the airport for my 7am flight to San Diego. My dad dropped me off at the front where I said goodbye and was off to check my bag. Almost everything I was going to need to survive for the next 3+ months was in the bag so I was a little nervous to check it in with the airline, so easily could it get put on the wrong plane, well that’s what was going on in my head. Just in case the airline lost my bag I decided to take a few important things out and stuff them into my clear bag liner.

It was a typically flight where I had a layover in Dallas. Since I had not eaten breakfast I went to McDonald’s to get a couple of sausage biscuits while carrying my clear bag of random items, mostly clothes. While ordering I had a weird conversation with the cashier.

Cashier: Are you going home?

Me: No, going on a camping trip.

Cashier: OK, the reason I ask is when people get out of jail they carry bags like that.

I guess I look like the type that just get out of jail.

Got into San Diego on time and was ready to get picked up from my friend Alayne. However I still had to wait for my pack at baggage claim. I waited so eagerly to see my pack come out. After a few minutes which seemed to take forever, thinking they lost it, it arrived without a scratch on it. Then Alayne pulled up and off we were to Campo. We made a quick stop at REI so I could pick up some last minute supplies. She was asking lots of questions about my first aid kit, making sure I had everything I needed. It was a good thing because there were a few things I had forgotten. It was a nice drive and a good chance to talk with a friend I had seen really since high school.

We arrived in Campo around lunch time but it was so hard to pick from all the choices, Subway or Taco Shack. A meatball subway tasted so great as I knew meals like that would be few and far between from here on out. Alayne was even nice enough to buy my meal.

After lunch it was a short 2 mile drive, part dirt road to the southern terminus of the PCT. When I saw it, it finally hit me that this was real, that it was happening. I walked up to the marker and looked out to where I was going to be traveling. So many different emotions all at the same time, excitement, scared, joy just to name a few. Also I swear I could see Canada.

Took one last selfie with Alayne and said goodbye, it was time to start. I got all of 100 yards down trail when I realized I left my camera at the marker, so went back up. I also almost left my sunglasses when I went back for the camera. It was a good thing I went back because I had forgotten to sign the hiker register. I signed in to show I was officially started a thru-hike and was off for the 2nd time.

It was just a beautiful day for a hike, cloudy and low 60s, I felt comfortable all day. The start of the trail is normally pretty warm so I guess I lucked out. The nice thing was I didn’t go through all that much water, only about 2.5L, started off with 6.5L.

The scenery was everything I had hoped. One could see in every direction for miles and miles. I had a hard time staying on trail as I kept looking all around at the beautiful scenery rather than down at the trail. I did have a few close calls with snakes.

I ran into a few people today hiking which surprised me as I thought most started early in the morning. I ended up hiking the last 2 miles to camp with these 2 guys. Had a nice conversation while hiking into Hauser Creek camp, giving me 15.4 miles on the day. Got in right before dark so pitched my tent quickly then ate some mashed potatoes for dinner.

Planning on an early start because I have a big uphill right off the back in an expose area so I want to be done with that before it gets hot but if the weather is anything like today I’ll be fine.

Southern Terminus of the PCT right next to the Mexico border

Hiking down to Hauser Creek

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