Day 1: Here We Go, the Snow!

2 March 2023
PCT Mile 0 to 23

Today was the day!

Double Down drove me to the terminus to start my 2023 PCT thru-hike attempt this morning. Living in San Diego, I’ve been here before, but I’ve never seen snow at the border.

Double Down said “Look! Snow in Mexico!”

And I said “Hey! That’s one of my favorite bands!”

I played some for him the last 10 minutes of the ride.

When we got out of the car it was a balmy 25 degrees.

My hike-u for today in the trail register

I bundled up and said farewell to Double Down. I’ll see him tomorrow – he’s going to hike with me to Scissors Crossing!

Snow at Mile 0
It’s so beautiful!

From Mile 1 to the railroad tracks I hiked with a computer programmer who did the AT 10 years ago. His name was Howdy!

I asked him all about a solo trip he did in the Brooks Range in Alaska. Sounded awesome!

Snow on the railway ties

I said bye to Howdy and moved ahead solo for the rest of the day, passing just one other hiker named Monica.

Silver bird’s foot trefoil

In a normal year there is only one reliable water source before Hauser Canyon at Mile 4. This year water is EVERYWHERE! And the rock hop at Mile 4 was submerged, forcing me to bushwhack to a log crossing up stream.

Mile 4
Chaparral beardtongue

I brought my microspikes today but didn’t use them. Looks like I’ll need them tomorrow though!

Snowy Lagunas in the distance
Mountain fringepod
Cuyamaca Peak
Hauser Canyon
(PCT switchbacks between Morena Butte on left and the mine on right)
California matchweed

By 3pm I was eating dinner at the Oak Shores Malt Shop near Lake Morena. Yum!

Put yourself in the way of carbs

After food and a good break I walked another hour and a half to about mile 23.

Free library in Lake Morena campground
Mustard flower rust

My campsite view of Lake Morena was sublime!

Nighty night!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Dude you rock! Kill it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Goose says:

    Go Jimmy Jam Go !! Have a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CeliaHikes says:

    Wonderful photos, will definitly follow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have a great hike. My attempt was ended in 2020 due to the pandemic. I will enjoy your posts from my home as I snowshoe here in Northern MN. I will definitely enjoy your images and writing as you journey north.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Christy says:

    Stay safe out there! Enjoy the trail and thanks for the great blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ztevewattz says:

    I don’t start until April 27th, but I’m getting super nervous about the snow nonetheless. I keep thinking about canceling. You’re inspiring me today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I’d do the first 750 miles. Water will abound. The flowers alone will be worth it. The snow will probably be gone in SoCal by late April/early May.
      It’s probably going to be a once in a lifetime type super bloom, that 2023 NOBO PCT’ers will have unique access to.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s