Day 1

Mile 0-8:

After an 18 hour flight, 4 days of running around San Diego picking up the last pieces of gear, a 2 hour bus drive and a 3 mile walk I finally made it to the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. I felt exhilarated because after a year of wondering if I would ever make it there, here I finally was facing North. I headed out confident that I would not leave this trail until I reached Canada. During the first 4 miles you couldn’t kick the smile of my face, my pace was good, my backpack was heavy but I didn’t seem to mind much and the sun was hot but the wind made it doable.

Little did I know there was a little surprise waiting for me around the next corner. You should know that I read everything you need to know about this trail and I knew that snakes could be an issue, that you should be careful not to step on one in the desert but I did not expect one of those little f***ers would be crossing my path on day 1! But I suppose faith had other plans for me.

Look at that beast, he’s gigantic! No matter what I did, screaming, throwing rocks, backing off. He did not move. After what felt like 6 hours, I started thinking he was dead but I still didn’t feel like taking the risk. I climbed bushes as far from him as I could and after passing him I made a run for it. After that it felt like the trail decided to teach me a lesson because I started out a little too confident. The trail got narrow, endlessly uphill, every few steps I had to jump over rocks. My backpack was starting to bruise my entire body, so bad even that every time I put it back on after a break it felt like knives poking me everywhere.

At around Mile 8 I decided to call it a day. I think it was around 6 P.M. and the wind had gotten really bad. The only time I had pitched my tent was in my hotelroom and I have to say, trying to pitch it in heavy wind is really not the same. But by some miracle I finally got it up. I crawled inside feeling absolutely miserable. I was cold, hungry, exhausted and on the verge of calling my parents to come pick me up. With trembling hands I tried to figure out what I was going to prepare for dinner when I remembered something I read in Yogi’s book. Heat up mashed potatoes, put the lid on your pot and take it with you inside your sleeping bag. It was absolute heaven. I hugged that pot so tight and it started working its magic, my body was finally heating up. I dozed off after a while, waking up every few hours, but other than that I slept pretty good. And I must say, nothing beats waking up with a view like this:

Let’s go find out what my second day has in store for me.


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5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Veel succes Stephanie! Wauw…
    Knap wat je doet! Ik ga je blog met veel plezier volgen!
    Ik duim en hoop dat het je goed mag gaan daar! Wat een cadeau aan jezelf!
    Groet, Maura


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