0.0 to 15.2 (Hauser Creek)
At appx. 7:30 western time I turned the keys to the ignition of my hiking machine and the whole mechanism sputtered to life. I wave goodbye (goodbye!) to those standing at the southern PCT terminus and take off through the low rolling hills covered in scrubby green desert vegetation. I leave my fleece at the Mexican border and an Australian woman (Liz) grabs it and carries it until I realize it’s gone, some 15 minutes later. A fitting start for me.
The day is warm and I think many thoughts, especially the story of the Relay Boys, who were a group of boy scouts that section hiked the entire PCT in the 1930s. It took four years and many young men, but they charted their route and signed their name in a ledger and proved that a north-south route existed along the mountain chains of the Pacific. Time and dust and death has obscured their journey, but it springs to life, here, on this ribbon of earth. In this way we connect ourselves, humans of one generation to humans of another. This can be done in any walk of life, but it feels so very poignant on these hills and through this countryside.
I stop at Hauser Creek, which has no water, but plenty of poisen oak. I talk to the Aussies, and the guys from Utah, and Hawkeye from Iowa and Jay from Montana. I watch helicopters overhead and see the light go down on the side of Mt. Hauser, which is right above me. The heat fades, and the cool comes on slow and steady.