Day 1 - Campo

My day started early.  I took a bus, a trolley and then another bus to get to Campo.  I met two other hikers, Robert and Nathan on the last bus.  We sat in the back of the bus and talked about lots.  Tortoises, politics, and of course, the trail.

We split up at arrival in Campo, I went into the store and grabbed some snacks.  The official start of the PCT is 1.3 miles up a dirt road.  The road and the trail parallel and cross each other.  I saw three guys on the trail as I came up, then Nathan not far behind.

The weather was nice, a little warm, but a nice dry heat, and there was a good breeze all day.  Terminus Tom greeted me at the start, but there were no other thru hikers starting.  I wasn't expecting to be alone at the start.  A pleasant surprise.  Apparently most people start early in the morning.

I wasn't very emotional at the start, I thought I would be.  When I started moving, it started to hit me.  I was so in my head, I missed a turn and ended up on a little farm road.  I realized it wasn't the trail and backtracked, but I likely added 3/4 mile or so.

I stopped for a break at the first water source, but it wasn't moving so I didn't get water.  With all the recent rain here, all the little creeks have water.  While I was stopped, a couple came up from the south.  Kathryn and Chris, all the way from Germany.  They talked to me breifly, but then continued on.  We passed each other all day long.  There was a good amount of climbing, but all on switchbacks.  It's no Snooknose trail, that's for sure.  The tread is also real nice, you can get into a rhythm and go.

I saw many animals- a jackrabbit with big round ears, loads of lizards, hawks, and a hummingbird that actually landed on a branch.  I think I startled a snake, but all I saw was a small tail quickly going into the brush.

I stopped for dinner around 5pm, at about mile 8, and called Ian real quick.  I took off my shoes and cleaned my feet.  Very dirty, even with the gaiters.  My legs have a combination of sunscreen, dirt and ash on them already.

I passed Chris and Kathryn camping at mile 9 and continued on.  I felt like hiking more with dinner in me and it was much cooler.  The sun was on the way down, so the light across the landscape was great.  I camped soon after mile 10, in a little spot hidden from the trail.  Setting up my tent felt a little Three Stooges.  I would stake down one side, but when I staked the other side and tightened, the first side tent stake popped out of the sand.  Repeat.  I got it sorted.  The sun finished setting while the moon rose.


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