4/8 – Day 1 – PCT Southern Terminus
I’m at the bus station at 8:30 am, watching the people going to work on various buses. I’m disappointed to not see any PCT hiker types. The bus was late, but the bus ride was great. One of the stops just before Campo was Tecate. Surprisingly and oddly, a PCT hiker boarded the bus here. Meta from Ohio was around 24 and had a great smile. He’d been living on the road for a while; had just had his wisdom teeth pulled in Mexico for 90% less than in the States. Over the summer he’d been hanging out in a commune in Hawaii, the Big Island and then for the last 2 months he was living the free love life in southern Mexico.
Click the link to see where I started the hike: http://fms.ws/BeRm6/32.59768N/116.46840W
Arrived 10:45 am at Campo – it consists of a store and a border patrol fortress. Bought a few last items at the store, then hiked 1.5 miles to the border wall and the PCT official starting monument. A young Swiss man was there with his parents; the parents were giving him a send off, but appeared worried. Meta and I were taking some photos at the starting monument, while the border patrols guys in a truck eyed us the whole time. After taking our photos, Meta and I started out on the trail. The weather was cool, windy and a little rainy – excellent conditions for hiking in the desert. While hiking with Meta, I learned a bit about alternative life styles – way different from the desk job lifestyle I’ve been living. We observed the Mile 1 marker. Strangely, that’s the only mile marker I saw in ten days of hiking. The hiking was pleasant, with lots of interesting plant life I’ve not seen before.
At about mile 13 a macho border patrol woman hiked up to us and asked to see the bottom of our shoes. Strange, but I’ve heard about others getting this same treatment. These patrols are eerily aware of who’s out here. We also saw several helicopters hovering about. The border officials definitely made their presence known.
Ms. Border Patrol told us take a left at the yellow sign to get to Hauser Canyon. Unfortunately there were 2 yellow signs, so we ended up back-tracking up a steep hill which wasn’t pleasant after 13 miles. At the SECOND yellow sign, we made our way down to Hauser Canyon, where we set up camp as it got dark. A respectable 15 mile first day. Near the end of the day, Meta complained of a knee tendon, but was always smiling and cheery. I felt great myself.
Click the link to see where I am located at the end of the day: http://fms.ws/Behjd/32.66135N/116.54539W