“We need the tonic of wilderness… We can never have enough of nature” Henry David Thoreau
For those who wonder why we would embark on a journey of 2600 miles I like Thoreau’s quote above. I write this looking down the valley that houses Lake Morena after a solid day of hiking from the Mexican border. Due to the generosity of the trail angels Scout and Frodo we arrived at the marker for the southernmost end of the PCT at 7.15 am. A cool temperature raised hopes of a cool day, which was not to be. After the obligatory photos, including a group one of around 25 hikers who were all there at the same time, the three of us set off north in search of Canada. Gentle rolling terrain for the first several miles led us through a profusion of desert adapted plants, multiple lizards and a few bee stings. Chatting with multiple hikers throughout the morning, we rested frequently, appreciating the surrounding views of desert scrubbed hills. Lunch was a rich diet of Nutella and tortillas. The afternoon involved descending into a large valley, where we met our first section hiker (walking for two weeks) headed south. After a short stop to admire the first sighting of poison oak, we meandered to the top of a long, gradual climb. It was at this point that the gorgeous sunny weather vanished and we embraced a cool wind and cloudy vistas. Several more miles of ridge walking led us to the camp site of Lake Morena, which in two days will play host to a thousand PCT enthusiasts of all stripes. Apart from several blisters and Nathan’s insole playing up we arrived little worse for wear. Meeting the famous Yogi, who has produced the invaluable guide books for any PCT hiker, we found we could camp at no cost. Tomorrow sees us head out of the valley for hopefully sunnier skies, as I am shivering as I write this.