I awoke in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and noticed that the moon, which was near full when we set up camp, was obscured in a strange way. In the morning I thought I was imagining it until we saw a hiker who asked if we saw the lunar eclipse that peaked at 4:30 am. I wasn’t crazy! I regretted not watching it longer, but it was the middle of the night.
I won’t try to give a day by day description of the trail, because frankly, typing with my thumbs is a pain and takes too long.
I’m now at approximately mile 77 and so far things have been great. Eric and I have averaged more than 20 miles per day, which is just what I was hoping to do. At the end of the day I’ve been tired but not exhausted and I’ve woken up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to hike. So far no sore muscles and only the smallest blister.
Southern California has also been very different than what I imagined. It is not all desert and we have hiked through a lot of different ecosystems. There was scrubby brush for a while, then nearly desert, before going through chaparral. Next we entered a sparse forest of Jeffrey pines, then came out into high desert with some scrub and grass. Now I think we are getting into true desert, but its hard to say.
We have also met some interesting people and have hiked with them for a time. Some of them have hiked the PCT or other long trail before and already have trail names, like Green Flash who has done the AT and CDT. Then there’s Pre-meta physician, who is a philosophy major going to medical in the fall, and Merkel, a 19 year old girl whose trail name is after the German chancellor. Captain Dead weight did the PCT last year but had a different name. We’ve also met Farrel, Kale, and Some Cherokee and have heard of Infrared (who has a 5 lb pack!) And Pensioner, who retired two days before starting the trail. Eric and I are awaiting our trail names but I’m sure we’ll get some.
There are quite a few towns along the way in this section so yesterday a group of us made a detour into Mt. Laguna and got breakfast to celebrate Easter. I had veggie puff pastries and potatoes which were delicious.
We’ve also been hiking on the edge of An a Barrego state park, which is amazingly beautiful.
Eric and I successfully hitched a ride into the town of Julian, where we got lunch and free pie.
The part of the desert we have been in is also amazing. The flowers are blooming and everything looks like it could be in a Dr. suess book.