Hauser Creek to Cibbets Flat C.G. (32.6) + 1.5 (off PCT)
18.9 daily miles
Ahh, morning hiking.
The sun hasn’t rounded the bend yet and I start the 1000 ft. climb up to Lake Morena in fine spirits. Why does everyone try to get to Lake Morena on the first day? It’s a tough climb, but so cool and beautiful in the morning with a fresh pair of legs.
There’s a stop and chat (sit and chat) in the campground of Morena State Park. Thru-hikers are gathered together and we introduce ourselves and exchange pleasantries. It’s strange getting to know people in such an odd circumstance.
“Oh, you’re hiking 2600 miles too? Great! Let’s be friends.” It’s like being in kindergarten again.
We continue on, up around a basin where the bees are buzzing and making a joyful noise and spreading the pollen around the desert (I scratch my face). I climb a large rock and the wind hits me full on. Hawkeye and I walk a good few miles together and sit under a road overpass (the PCT sometimes travels underneath the roads of unsuspecting SoCal motorists) so I can eat and he can have a smoke.
We receive our first trail magic at Boulder Oaks Campground (trail magic is when someone gives something to a thru-hiker just to be nice) when a man pulls up and hands out soda and apples and PB&Js to the crowd of hikers who have gathered in this shady spot to rest from the sun and drink the water that floweth from magical ground spigot.
Other fantastic PCT moments include seeing a rattlesnake, climbing 100 feet down off the trail to stick our feet in the first natural flowing water so far (mile 30ish) and road walking down the wrong road to get to the campsite with pit-toilets. Everyone loves pit-toilets. I watch the stars come out and listen to some nice music and the world turns mighty cold until I crawl into my sleeping bag, and then things are just fine.