I’m finally there. After a hellish time trying to navigate through San Diego, Kentucky Blue and I made it to the Pacific Crest Trail kickoff party at Lake Morena County Park. I started by hiking the 21 miles from the Mexican border to Lake Morena in the rain… wait, rain? Aren’t we in the desert? Apparently it’s been a wicked rainy season for Southern California. So my first day of hiking was wet and cold. Great.
But the trail is so easy I can barely call it hiking. Well, there are awesome mountains and views everywhere, so it qualifies for sure. But the horse grade on the trail means it follows countour lines almost perfectly, and even a “steep” climb is amazingly moderate by Eastern standards.
Since last Thursday I’ve hiked 77 miles to Scissors Crossing, and I’m now hanging out with Kentucky Blue again in Julian, CA. After the rain cleared, it’s been boiling hot during the days and near freezing at night. It works out pretty well, since there’s usually about a 30 degree difference between sun and shade, so I’ve gotten used to sitting under a bush at noon and waiting a while for the sun to lower a bit. Still, the heat makes for some nasty blisters on the feet, not to mention the 2+ gallons of water a day I’ve been drinking.
Next stop is Warner Springs in 30 miles, then Idyllwild about 50 miles after that. After Idyllwild, there is supposedly some heinous snow in the mountains that is unusual for this time of year, so people might get holed up in Idyllwild waiting for some of it to melt off. Who knows. I’ll be taking my time until these blisters heal a bit.