All good things start from 0 and so it was with our PCT hike. After entertaining us with artichokes, pasta, and beer the night before, Cam drove us down to the start of the trail on the Mexican border. Well, actually he drove us via his office for some just-in-time planning of little details like water reports and also via a fast-food joint for the burritos which would be lunch, dinner and breakfast over the following 16 hours. Before getting to the trail-head it would be rude not to thank Linda for her role in the artichokes, beer and last minute stuff; and unconscionable not to thank Celia who did us so many favours it could be a blog by itself.
At the monument marking the start of the trail we looked out to the border in the south and bumpy chapparal-covered terrain extending north. We took photos and flicked through the register for a while and then a brown pick-up with twigs and other “camouflage” approached. It was a minuteman who seemed pleasant enough, but we steered well clear of talking politics. His moustache, trucker cap, and “doing the work the government won’t” t-shirt were right on cue, but he did disappoint by chugging iced tea rather than beer.
Eventually we set off, our packs bulging with all the water we could carry. Our aim? Get far enough away from the border for a quiet night’s sleep and get some miles in the bank for tomorrow. Before we’d even passed Campo, a map-check revealed no map. Dropped in the clearing between the monument and the start of the trail-proper. Doh! We made it a few more miles that night, ate burritos, and made camp. Even that short distance had me jumping to shoe-surgery. A slight rubbing in my toes before we came out to the PCT took on a whole new significance, so I hacked out part of the toe-box that was being folded into my feet. This seemed to help and Day 0 ended with excitable sleep and a chorous of coyotes.