Oh, hello, trail. I remember you. Your crazy ups and downs. Your meanderings and digressions. You haven’t changed much at all. Have I?
It’s raining in Julian when we head out from Granny’s Diner, heading for Campo. My in-laws have graciously given me a ride, again, to the Southern Terminus. I only made it 78 miles last year, and they have been teasing me. “How many more times do we have to come out here?”they inquire. “This is the last time, I swear!” Sue tells me not to worry, that this is what families do. She even wore a shirt just for me that says, “Take a Hike!”So, thank you Gary and Sue, for helping me follow my goals, even when they don’t make a lot of sense to you. I love you two.
Whelp. It never fails. Not even 5 minutes into our epic hike, and there go my bowels. I’ve mentioned before that this has happened at the beginning of every backpacking trip. The in-laws are barely out of sight, and I’m having to squat behind a bush. Already using up my precious t.p.!
It’s not raining in Campo, but it’s cloudy and cool. A mist comes and goes throughout the day. Excellent hiking weather. I start out with my new Zpacks windbreaker but take it off after a few miles. I overheat easily and prefer to walk slightly cold.
Aaron and I head up at a good rate, past the railroad tracks, past the ranch down below, stopping only to eat a few Slim Jims. Aaron is taking the lead, as he has a way of tramping stridently up the hill, while I huff and puff down below.
We pass the gate where I saw the immigrant campsite last year, and I point out the barely there space I crammed my solo tent into around mile 10. Aaron tells me that he has come up with a new cookie. Instead of Nutter Butters, he thinks they should make “Natter Batters”, where the cooks stand in front of the cookie bowl and natter while they stir. I know it’s so dumb, but I can’t stop giggling at Natter Batters, and silly conversations like that get us up and over to the jeep road that has the Ciudad sign, although someone has spray painted, “PCT” on it in red letters. Okay……why? I don’t get why people do that. Then we’re heading down, down, down to Hauser Creek where there is no cache but we don’t care because we brought enough water. We make camp there, not the best site, but we are tired and hungry and ready to sleep into the cold night.