Days 1 thru 4-Morena to Scissors Crossing Test Hike
It's 130 am. We finished day 3 of our test hike along the pct. Walked close to 20 miles on day 2 and 3. I can't sleep. It's the first night I've had to sleep with grime seeping from my pores. No amount of wet wipes seems to cure this. I never anticipated this, but we've also learned a lot on this trip about trail life. Day 1, we got lost before even getting to the trail coming out of lake Morena. We were following some kind of road thinking it was the pct. We came across some red and grey furry creature hovering over something. We were all pretty freaked out. Whatisthat!? We were nervously reaching for our knives. I swear, I almost took a picture in case something happened to us. We'd have data for the coroner and proof of la chupacabra. Anyway it turned out to be the most tan homeless person we'd ever seen. Obviously this wasn't the pct. But it met up with the pct by a bridge. On this trip I've learned that the pct could never be the real world people talk bout. As soon as you get on it you see all the care that goes into it. All of the people's generous hard work that come together to form the pct. I've also had a taste of a hiker community that I hadn't put much thought into. When planning this thing I had never thought of doing it for the comradery and community. Now I know it's all about giving and receiving and the power of communication between these strange modern nomads in new clothes with shiny reflectors and trekking poles. South bounders telling about the steep slope ahead and us telling him about the water tank 1/4 mile off trail and where to hide from the wind. Following a person's trekking pole marks for days and by the time you meet them, you feel you know them. From meeting Hiker Bill to getting water info from the ranger I feel like the info seems to come naturally in most cases. We experienced our first trail magic at Pioneer Mail and left with too little water because we wanted to save some for the section hiker and his kids behind us. In the end, we always found water. We missed the trail again when we headed too far on chariot truck trail. Missing the pct because the sign was facing straight and the trail was so narrow it looked like a short animal path. We've now learned the look of the pct. The pct is a well loved well, cared for, happy trail. If you feel that it's become ominous or you start to think wow, I must be ahead of the pack because there aren't very many footprints here...you're probably not on the pct. Like Jacob said, one can't express enough how many footprints there are on the pct! About 7 miles tomorrow to scissors crossing then Julian apple pie, beer, using the gift certificate I got for Ruth's Chris for sure! And excitedly planning our return to the PCT.
This is right after we lost the PCT and walked down (and back up) a dirt road for a half hour. Happy to find the trail!