Day 1: Unexpected Heat

Memories from April 21

Woke up at 4:00am. On trail at 4:45am. Morning hiking is great. The cool air makes hiking very comfortable.

Passes someone on the ground with a tarp over them like a blanket. I haven’t seen that tarp setup before.

Around 8am, I passed KBar as he was breaking camp. He had 1 liter of water for about 8 miles. I told him I expected he wouldn’t die. KBar caught me during a break shortly thereafter and I offered a liter of water which he accepted with the rejoinder that if I ever smoke weed, I should do it with him because he has the best. He departed but I caught up and we hikes together for a while.

Hiking with KBar, we ran across the Swedes, Pontus and Linda. KBar was excited when Linda almost grudgingly accepted his offer smoke a little. They had been planning to hike to Lake Morena (20 miles) in 3 days but were making good time and had plenty of water. Linda’s hair looked dyed as was the hair of the last two Swedish women I met. She says it’s a relatively common thing there. As KBar and I departed the shady rest spot, the Swedes were kind enough to point out that we immediately missed the sign for the trail and were about to go the wrong way.

I left KBar near Hauser creek with Neema who accepted his offer to split a bowl. He was very excited. I don’t think I’ve met anyone as genuinely excited about sharing weed as KBar.

I passed Ray and Karma on the way up out of Hauser Creek. Ray is a talker who hiked the first 50ish miles last year but had to bail due to a medical condition. This year he’s back and going a little slow but has a 95 liter pack (most people have 58 or 65 liter packs and mine is 45)which he can use for snow gear if he has to push into November. Karma was the first person I’d seen on the trail with an umbrella (reflective hiking umbrellas used as parasols in the desert are one of the enjoyable oddities of distance hiking).

About 2.5 miles from Lake Morena, the sun and hunger required an emergency siesta. As I was finishing up, KBar caught up and threw himself down under the same tree. He was very red in the face and said he was dizzy. I gave him a liter and since I didn’t have plans except to leave lake Morena at 5pm decided to wait for him to take a siesta so we could walk in together.

I chatted with passing hikers which eventually woke KBar. After a little more water we headed out. He had a headache, was dehydrated, and seemed in a foul mood. He explained that he dealt with things by cursing them out.

At 2.5mi on the dot KBar said, “I think we’ve gone two and a half miles.”

KBar’s friends Yukon and Kellen had zero’d at the Lake Morena camp ground waiting. His mood improved immediately. I think he’d been worried about be left behind.

Ray and KBar had promised to buy me a beer and malt because of the water I’d given them. The made good on this at the Oak Grove Malt Shop.

I start thinking of the PCT as summer camp for adults. You run around outdoors and make new friends. Most of my hiking today was with someone.

The 6ish miles from the Lake Morena Campground to Boulder Oaks Camp Ground was very flat and I flew making it in 1:30 or 1:45 including meeting Becca and Andrew. I’ve met Andrew and Lake Morena and completely forgotten which was awkward because he recognized me.

Split a campsite with Kyle, Kyle’s friend whose name I’ve forgotten, Ralf, Andrew, and Becca. Andrew was in engineering and he and I dominated the dinner conversation for a little too long but it wasn’t too bad.

Washed clothes and rinsed off in the campground spigot.

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