Can it be? This is the day! Sleeping like a baby, my sweet-gentle-wake-up music came on at 4am and I jumped out of bed. A list of last minute reminders is next to me; things that came to mind at 3am, scribbled in the dark: fresh batteries for the headlamp, take granddaughter’s car seat out of the car and clear out the junk in the back, don’t forget the poles, and the PCT Pocket Atlas!
Everything else is packed.
The plan is to meet at my house 4:45am; my new hiking partner Debbie, (whom I met on Facebook…yeah that’s another story!) and two of my close hiking friends, Patti and Sherry, who have agreed to drive us to Campo.
We are hiking with Debbie’s brother and his wife who will park their car at Boulder Oaks Campground for our ride home. So glad for my minivan, there’s no problem fitting six people and four overstuffed backpacks for the quick trip to Campo!
As we arrive at Boulder Oaks, the gate is locked with a sign saying it was closed due to the government shutdown. Hmmm – wonder where they will park their car for three days? Arriving before the others, we waited in the driveway of the park. Huge trucks were driving up, unlocking the gate and proceeding into the park. One of the workers came up to my window and I’m trying to think what to say (remember it is now 7am and I’m still not really coherent) I blurt out, “I’m waiting for a party.” Everybody starts laughing and I’m puzzled. Yeah, after I thought about it, it did sound a bit weird after they explained it to me! The good news is, their car can be left on the side of the road outside the park. The crews were installing new electrical poles and lines, and the traffic would be slowed down all three days with lane closures and flagmen.
After brief introductions, we continue on to Campo. One last stop at convenient store for a real bathroom
They’re all surprised when I drive right up the dirt road to the Southern Terminus. It’s breezy and cool. We’re all bundled up like it’s 30 degrees, not knowing what to expect. I show them the hiker log, tucked neatly into a metal box. It was a surprise that there were already several pages of hikers logged in. Apparently the 2019 season starts in November of 2018! I see that the day before, several people logged in, but there is no one else today. So many profound quotes and expressions of anticipation, I’m dumbfounded that I hadn’t given any thought to what I would write! All I could come up with was “It’s getting real.”
Day One…It has begun.