And So It Begins!

My PCT hike officially begins tomorrow!

Checking my Backpack at Seatac Airport

Yesterday Daniel dropped me off at the Seatac airport.  It rained all the way to the airport, a fitting sendoff from my fair city.  Saying goodbye to Daniel was definitely the hardest part of my trip so far.  I bawled my eyes out when we bid each other goodbye at the security gate.  I already miss him like crazy.

The flight to San Diego was a short one.  I was exhausted, as I couldn’t sleep the night before at all.  I had woken up at 2:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and re-inventoried all of my gear like the nerd that I am.  Thankfully I was able to sleep on the plane and woke in time to hear the captain’s announcement that we were flying by Yosemite National Park.  And sure enough, there it was – my first glimpse of John Muir’s famed Range of Light!  Wow.  Incredible!

Alicia Eats all the Pancakes

At the San Diego airport, my friend Alicia was waiting for me.  We’ve been friends for about 6 years, although we haven’t seen eachother as much recently since she moved to San Diego to attend school.  Alicia and her boyfriend Ted are my very first Trail Angels!  They’ve hosted me in their home and Alicia will drive me to the trailhead tomorrow and even hike the first few miles with me.  Yay!

We spent the day today together in San Diego and I’ve had such a fabulous time.  I was so exhausted when I arrived from putting all of my resupply boxes together.  I slept like a boss last night on their super comfy deluxe air mattress and woke up feeling refreshed.  Alicia spoiled me rotten today and showed me around San Diego.  

At the Beach, Yo!

We started out the day by eating breakfast at Snooze in the Hillcrest neighborhood.  A flight of gluten-free pancakes in 3 sinfully delicious flavors?!?  Yes please!! Afterwards, we headed over to Black’s Beach in Torrey Pines State Park.  It is a clothing optional beach but after attending Burning Man several times nudity doesn’t phase me very much any more.  I’m happy to see people that are comfortable with their bodies.   More power to them I say!

Hiding from the Sun Under a Pink Floyd Towel

The beach is fairly secluded and located under the Torrey Pines Gliderport so we got to see lots of paragliders overhead as we strolled along the water.  We spent a few hours swimming and relaxing in the sun. Ahhhh!!  Balm for my weary soul.

Alicia Laughs in the Face of Danger

After a few hours at the beach, we hiked up the cliffs to the car before we started roasting and Alicia graciously drove me to pick up some canister fuel at REI.  We ate lunch at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood because I couldn’t leave San Diego without trying some fish tacos.  Yum!

This evening, we met up with some dear friends that we know through our Burning Man community – David, Karla, and Karla’s son.  We ate dinner at Poke Burrito, which is an establishment that serves the most amazing burrito-sized rolls with sushi ingredients wrapped in rice and nori.  Wow!  I’ve never seen anything like it.

The Amazing Poke Burrito

Back at Alicia’s house, she made us hot cocoa from scratch with Bailey’s and fresh mint leaves, a sinfully delicious treat that was the perfect cap to a lovely day.

I can’t imagine a more perfect way to kick off my adventure.  Tomorrow, it begins for real!

SQUEEEE! 

Alicia, David and Me. Yay for old Friends!

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