Day 1 – The Terminus

Mile 0 to 10


Southern Terminus

You’d like to think that as you start a major hike you will have something inspirational to say, or at least something slightly pithy. But it turns out sometimes you just take a couple of pictures at the PCT post, and start walking.

Within a couple hundred feet, we see large snakes crossing the trail, so we know we are in the wilderness, but so far no rattlers. Brian had been told that he would see one a day. When we reach our first days goal of 10 miles, he is disappointed. I reassure him by pointing out we need to average 20 miles a day, so he actually has 10 more miles to find one.

Some things you see on the trail surely have stories, but they are not always revealed.  Early in the day we come upon an abandoned backpack with a plastic bag on top. In the bag is a Book of Mormon. In what state of mind does a traveling Mormon leave behind a backpack and scriptures in the middle of the desert? Later we find a pile of what I can only describe as a cowboy outfit: pointed boots, shirt, pants, and unmentionables. Being so near the border, it is possible these involve an illegal crossing and disguise change. I however, prefer to imagine a Mormon cowboy realizing he needs to go back for his lost pack and book. Surely it makes good sense to ditch the outfit and travel as light as possible. After all, everyone we meet is struggling with the exact same thoughts, minus the pointed boots and book of course.

We camp in a break in the bushes.


Start walking


Gopher Snake


Book of Mormon


Cowboy Outfit

Camp in bushes

Camp in bushes