March 27 – day 1 It’s finally time to start!

PCT mile 0 to mile 20 
We were woken up at 5am and after a breakfast of French toast, eggs, fruit and coffee we piled two SUVs and started the hour and a half dive to the PCT Southern Terminus on the border.  
Finally we turned onto a dirt road where at the end had the monument with the border wall right behind it. There is a wall on this section of the border…

Of course I had to get my picture taken:


As well as our staring group:


And with that done it suddenly felt real — no more planning, obsessing over what and what not to bring, no more endless waiting for this day – it was here and I am starting!

We were spared the desert heat in the morning because of high clouds – excellent! I started down the trail following two others. Within the first 1/3 mile they started following a dirt road by accident. Luckily they turned back and now I was leading – yikes!

I picked the right year and time to start my hike: usually there is no water for the first 20 miles. Hikers are advised to carry 6 liters of water! We carried 2-3 and were fine. We passed a dozen creeks crossing the trail and topped off just in case.  

I was feeling pretty good when I hit my targeted first camp spot at 3:30, so decided to hike the 5 miles to Lake Morena. This started with a big uphill and long slog to the campground. I was exhausted and my feet felt like the soles had been beaten with sticks.  

I set up my tent with about 15 other PCTers. Took a lovely lukewarm shower and hobbled back to my tent to eat dinner (a few cookies) and drink a ton of water. I climbed into my tent at sunset and heard the gentle patting of rain on the tent. It was very tranquil and I fell asleep.
Thanks for reading!

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