United States
Derby Dyke

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    • Day 2


      April 16, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      🌙 I was wide awake at 1.30am but I did get about 5hrs sleep, so it’s gonna be a long day. My taxi will be here at 8.30am to take me to the Old Transit Centre where I will pick up the PCT Terminal Shuttle Bus. I’m gutted that Ash won’t be there to meet me at the bus stop but I’m still super excited to meet other hikers and listen to tales of the trail from the owners of the bus.

      🏨 6am - I’m so bored! I’ve been sitting in this hotel room for hours. So I decide to go and explore. The sun is coming up and there is a geocache just 0.2 miles from the hotel. So off I go. I reach the destination but the geocache is located in a locked car park so I give up and head back. Oh well, that killed 20 mins!!

      ⚾️ 6.25am - I continue past the hotel in the opposite direction. What’s that? Wow! It’s a real American little leagues baseball court. I take a wander into the middle of the court and see a bright yellow baseball ⚾️ on the floor. I pick it up and am surprised how light it is. I start a running commentary to myself and bowl the ball into the batting area! Strike!

      🧇 7am - I’m back at the hotel and sitting in the breakfast room waiting for them to open up and reading a book on my kindle. I’m feeling chilled out but I’m also starving. I plate up with sausages (which taste like MacDonalds sausages but in regular sausage shape), delicious scrambled eggs, a muffin and yoghurt! They also have a waffle making machine which im excited to use! There is a container next to it full of batter. I was obviously looking a bit lost when this young lad says “do you need a lesson mam”? Yes please! He showed me how to spray the little plates with oil and then showed me the different batter mixes). There were flavoured ones) and then how to flip the machine which starts the count down. If you are reading this from the US then you will probably laugh at this, but when my perfect little waffles 🧇 came out, I did a little “I did that!” The young lad smiled and then went on to explain about the different syrups! I’ve got a lot to learn!

      🚕 8.45am Nick the Taxi driver collects me and takes me five mins down the road to the Old Transit Centre $20. I find bus bay 10 and a homeless guy comes up to me and tells me that I’m in the right place and wishes me “Happy Trails”. He didn’t ask for money, he was just being kind.

      🇧🇷 9.30am. Thomas from Brazil arrives and so does another guy who appears quite shy and is not saying a word. I later find out that he is American and his name is Hans from Nevarra.

      🚌 10am - the PCT Shuttle drives to a local trail Angela house called Scout & Frodos and we pick up two ladies (one from Brisbane and the second from Collarado)

      🤩 10.49 - The scenery on our journey to Campo is just amazing. Mountains, massive boulders everywhere and the wild flowers are so colourful. “Just Paul” (bus drivers trail name) showed us a glimpse of the trail from the shuttle and my heart raced. Then we see our first PCT hiker on trail. Just Paul winds down the window and shouts at her “Canada!” And she waves and smiles. puts my mind at rest about snakes. I’m so

      🏬 11.10am - We stop at Campo Green Stores and I’m so confused with the food here. I buy a slim Jim (meat stick thing), biscuits and gravy (just had to try), Gatorade and some snacks.

      🇲🇽 11.30am, There it is!! The PCT Southern Terminal. A flutter in my stomach as we walk towards it. It’s smaller than I imagined but the border wall that separates Mexico and the USA is huge! It’s 30ft high and apparently the concrete below goes down 20ft deep. I’m here with Sarah (Collarado) and Di (Oz) and we take photos of each other at the terminal and collect our badges from the PCTA desk. I take a few minutes on my own to walk down to the border wall where I can put my hand and foot through and say hi to Mexico! Blimey, this is surreal. I’ve been dreaming about this moment for years and now it’s actually here!

      🥾 1.30pm - I set off down the trail with my pack on my back following the PCT markers. Sara and Di stay at the monument as they are not yet sure if they want to camp at CLEEF or just start walking.

      🏕️ 2.40 pm - I’m all pitched up at a campsite called CLEEF, which is 1/4 mile from the terminal. Hans, Di & Sara are here as well and they kindly let me take their photo and print it in my little book. The site has a big wall where the class of 2023 sign their name. I added my name and a little sticker that says “have the time of your life”.

      Sara took her hat off and has had HYOH shaved into her head!!(Hike Your Own Hike). Brilliant!!

      🏀 18.49 - Hans and I beat Di & Sara at Corn Hole (I’m a bit competitive and so happy that we won!). A game in which small bags filled with dried corn are tossed at a target consisting of an inclined wooden platform with a hole at one end. It’s a bit like boules but without the balls. It was good fun!

      🔥 19.15 - Fairy lights are twinkling and the campfire is going (as are the propane gas heaters!). The temperature as dropped considerably. People have been arriving all afternoon and as I got chatting to them I’ve taken their photo and printed it into my little book. A youngster called Sienna drew and awesome front cover for me on the book of a PCT scene saying “class of 2023”. .“Just Paul” stands up to address the group and the chatter subsides. You could hear a pin drop as he and “Pappa Bear” gave talks on some very serious topics to help prepare us for the trail. They talk about hydration and the process / formula for calculating how much water to carry. They go into detail about the dangers of hitchhiking and how best to get a ride. Just Paul shared tactics on how to refuse a ride if you have the slightest doubt. Apparently a young girl died last year of altitude sickness so we now have a good idea of the signs and what to look out for and more importantly, how to deal with it. They covered the dangers of snow and river crossings (I will now always wear my shoes!). Yep, it was utterly brilliant and I’m so glad I stayed here and would recommend it to anyone who wants to do this trail.

      💤 9pm - I’m tucked up in my tent and it’s getting very chilly!! My puffy pants are on as are my Sundick booties. I was worried about getting sunburnt just three hours ago! This trail is gonna be such an experience .

      Tomorrow I walk…… for now wish you night night.

      As always, thanks for reading my rambles.

      PS - I may not have service for a while so I’m not sure when the next update will be.
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