Saturday, April 17, 2021
Elevation gain/loss: 6637’/5423′
Start: 1mi shy of the border
End: Kitchen Creek
After getting up at 4:30am, my scheduled Lyft arrived at 5:10am and we headed towards Campo. Since I had eaten so little food the night before, I put in an online Starbucks order for pickup and we stopped on the way. My ride dropped me off a mile shy of the border at 6:15, and I headed out to the monument, passing by Base Camp, where a trail angel was providing camping and a pancake breakfast.
I made quick time of the first 10 miles but the second 10 slowed down a lot. I was two snakes – the first was a Rosy Boa snake and the second was a black and white Striped Racer snake; they both wanted nothing to do with me. It was incredibly hot in the direct sun and I’d underestimated how much water I needed, especially before I acclimated to the heat. I ran out of water and two thru-hikers I read as queer very kindly shared their bounty with me, which got me all the way over to Lake Morena and the Malt shop there. I felt kind of sick so I kept it fairly light, and drank a soda, Gatorade, and a few other liquid things.
Perhaps 2-3mi out of town, I ran into William, a PCT section hiker out for the day. He was almost back to his car in Lake Morena, and he generously gave me a Gatorade he had left. We chatted for a few minutes and then went on our ways.
I arrived at my evening’s campsite at 6pm, and there were already 6 tents set up, so I had to set up my tent in a really subpar site, so my tent didn’t have proper tension. Which meant that when the wind kicked up overnight with some 30 MPH gusts, my tent just about tore itself in half shaking. This all led to me getting almost no sleep.
I had some good chats in camp while I ate dinner with Sarah, a PCT thru-hiker who had worked as an AMC caretaker. It turned out that we actually knew some of the same caretakers!