Campo as in Camp(oh $#’+) we’ve really started!


So here we are beginning at the border all fresh and full of spunk…three days later how quickly things change!


Wondering what happened in between? Have we got a few stories for you! 

Day one: (20 miles)
mile 0.0 – 20.0 / 2621ft – 3038ft
We left from the monument (8am)”a bit” later than we had intended. It was a brisk 45 degrees, so maybe not starting at 6 or 7 was not so bad.  And off we went to hike ourselves warm. Travel along the trail was relatively “easy”, with flashbacks of our soft sand running days, which then turned into familiar what we call ” back country ” hiking trails we have been training on at home.  The temperature neared 70 which made us wonder if the 5 liters of water we were carrying was really that necessary. After a few sock changes (3), a snack or two, Paul recovering his cup after it rolled over the side of the trail (hiking poles are not just for hiking)


a tick removal, and several miles of “whose idea was that to make the trail take that route?” we made it to Hauser Creek (without a single snake sighting). And what to our surprise did we find there?…our first encounter with Trail Magic!  A group of local boar hunters were just breaking camp and treated us to the best food ever. After a short conversation and finally convincing them we really are hiking to Canada, they offered us freshly cooked wild boar, chicken sandwiches, water, tea and beer.  We passed on the tea and beer but devoured the wild boar as seen by tray below.


If this is what Trail Magic is all about we could very well GAIN weight over these 2600 some odd miles!  After eating waaay too much we lumbered our way up out of Hauser Creek all 7 steepish switchbacks and into Lake Morena in time to get chocolate milk (Dee’s favorite) and a Coke (Paul’s favorite). We encountered two other PCT hikers who were packing up and moving on to meet friends at the Boulder Oaks campground. Not us. We parked our asses in a campsite near the restroom ( and what later turned out to be a family of crying kids…give the kid a damn cookie! Its spring break for heaven’s sake!…we mumbled under our breath).  So…camping by a lake…even if most of the water is gone…not so good an idea.  We (I mean I) froze our butts off.  Seems we were too tired to eat dinner (and still full from our trail magic)and wouldn’t get up and pee in the middle of night…cause it was cold…bad idea.  Needless to say, lesson learned… Eat, Pee, Sleep…good.  It didn’t actually get down to freezing, but for beachy SoCal people 38 is close enough!  We awoke to frost on our tent which created a softball sized snowball when we went to pack the tent.


Day 2:  (16.1 miles)
mile 20 – 36.1 / 3038 ft – 5282 ft

We hiked ourselves warm again as we made our way out of Lake Morena… again via soft sand and a blinding sunrise with sunglasses that wouldn’t unfog toward the Boulder Oaks campground 6 miles away. Here we would break for breakfast and to fix a nagging insole issue.


The trek was beautiful and the greenest we’d seen the area in a LONG time…awesome turkey hunting area BTW.


Once there I discovered that my overachieving feet decided to reward me with an awesome blister. Best one I’ve had in a long time.


Fixed that sucker, and off again switching from being annoyed by the packed blister on my foot and/or the tag of my hiking pants in the small of my back (that I forgot to remind myself to cut out for this very reason). This was actually good because what followed was nothing but UP and thus was a good distraction.


It was a sunny and balmy 70 degrees… perfect hiking conditions. Clear blue skies and gusty breezes that would turn into a stiff wind, but thankfully at our backs.  We made it to Cibbets Flat for more water and a break.


Water left by trail angels in lieu of hiking down to the campground


While there, we discovered a Geo cache.


We signed the log and added our “2moremiles” card, and once again headed UP! We walked for what seemed like forever looking for the “large oak tree” per Halfmile’s maps as the wind gusted harder, the air temperature began to drop significantly and clouds began to form on the horizon.  Without a moment to lose we reached mile 36.1 (where the large oak tree lived) and quickly pitched our tent, dove inside, and before we did anything else…cooked and ATE a hot meal.  As we finished organizing the interior and planning for another cold, if not colder, night (we put just about every piece of clothing we had, on) we settled in for one of the noisiest nights ever…get your minds out of the gutter.

Day 3: (6.5 miles)
mile 36.1 – 42.6 / 5282 ft – 5942 ft

Sleep was fitful as the walls of our tent thumped at us with every blast of wind that was later followed by of course…Rain.  Well, we wanted to beat the heat. An unintended consequence.  Needless to say the tent and namely us made it through the night.  On goes the rain gear, thick gloves and pack covers (and to think we debated on whether to bring them, but then Murphy’s Law is alive and well with us) and off we slogged…UP…again, but only for a little bit, then the trail rolled along as we bowed our heads watching our feet thinking happy thoughts.


And what to our surprise do we find, again?…another Geo cache!


(I’ll fix the photos when we zero at home in a week…can’t seem to figure it out on my phone)

More slogging and more slogging, and happy we don’t wear trail runners so our feet stayed dry, we found our favorite sign…


"2 More Miles"

…which led us to the Mt. Laguna Lodge  and store (mile 42.6) where we had dropped a resupply box. Considering we were cold and soaking wet for the most part and it was still raining (and the forecast calls for snow), we opted for a room to dry and thaw ourselves out as did several other PCT hikers we met at the lodge. Some had already done 20 miles ahead of us but called for a ride back to the lodge as they too were soaked to the bone.  So here we sit, catching up on our blog, the news, drying our gear and getting a steaming HOT shower and a beer.  If it hasn’t snowed by morning we’re out a here… dry and ready for the next curve ball Ol’ Murphy throws at us.

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19 Responses to Campo as in Camp(oh $#’+) we’ve really started!

  1. Mandi BEAUMONT says:

    Loving the updates guys!!! Graham and I do a lot of geocaching – love it, been doing it for about 8 years now!!!!! Hope the trail is being kind to you. Watch out for the blisters though! not good shit to have lol!!!! Take care!!!!

  2. Mike says:

    Good start to just another hike. Have a good morning.

  3. erinhikes says:

    I love randomly finding Geocaches! I just found your blog through the PCTA website, and now I’m a loyal subscriber. Best of luck on your journey to Canada. I can’t wait for more updates.

  4. erinhikes says:

    I just found your website through PCTA, and now I’m a loyal subscriber. Best of luck as you make your way towards Canada! I am excited to follow your journey.

  5. LTC Cook, U.,S. Army (Ret) says:

    Good start. We are following from Michigan every day. How do you like Infantry living?

  6. Lynn says:

    Excellent update! I LOVE the before and after pics.

  7. We want to leave you a package at Montezuma Road around mile 100. Will you be past there before Saturday evening? David and Chalea (Patrice’s son)

    • Darn!…Just got cell coverage. We are now camped at Barrel Springs at mile 101 and plan to head out tomorrow morning to Warner Springs for some R&R…at home. Thanks for your kindness

  8. Sean says:

    I just want to say Hi!. I found your card in a geocache (second one you wrote about) while I was caching the PCT just above Long Canyon and just below the Lagunas. Funny that you keep finding them by accident. I decided to follow your blog post as I am already following a few others. I saw while skimming that you have found at least one more. I look forward to all your blogs but keep mentioning the geocaches you find.

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