Posted by : Dave Murphy Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I barely got any sleep last night as I was so excited about starting the trail in the morning. I got up at 5am where French toast was already prepared. A can of whipped cream was on the table as topping. As one of my aims of this trip istry as much American food as possible, I had whipped cream on my breakfast (after style showed me how to use the bloody american can). Believe it or not, i have decided whipped cream is not my favourite breakfast food.

Scout and nitro gave ~10 of us a lift to the border. It was overcast and misty which is apparently extremely unusual for this time of year. This mist turnef into light rain which lasted for the whole day (nice cool hiking weather though). After taking a photo at the pct monument (marks the official start of the trail), I jumped the barbed wire fence with another kiwi (Hamish), and we squeezed our fingers through the 10 ft high iron barrier which marks the border with Mexico. So technically the two of us started our walk in Mexico. Take that border patrol.

Hamish is walking with his dad Peter and they are both also from Christchurch. The strange thing is that they got the idea to walk from the same press article I read in 2007, and also arrived at scout and frodos the same day I did! As style would say "the universe acts in mysterious ways man, it's like something has drawn us all together to be here at this particular moment in time on purpose". All I know is that that must have been one hell of an article to get the 3 of us over here 5 years after reading it. Hamish and Peter are walking for the cholmondeley children's charity. Check out their blog at www.walk4kids.org.

I set out to cover a "short" distance on the first day of 16 miles, just so i could knock out the cobwebs and stretch my legs. I walked the 16 miles mostly chatting with a section hiker Jim about 80's computer programming and his opinion that all partys should have a strict end time to prevent people coming late, which he actually practices. "The lights are turned off at 10pm and everyone is told to leave immediately" . I am still on the fence on this issue.

After getting to mile 16 my feet were still itchy with nervous excitement so I continued on so as to get to the lake morena campground located at mile 20.3. At mile 17.5 I was passed by Hamish and Pete and by mile 18.5 I was starting to cramp up in the quads. Still having almost 2 miles to go I was a little worried so I sat down to stretch. Then out of the blue comes past George and his daughter amber. Amber is a section hiker who was hiking the 20.3 miles from the border with a daypack and George was meeting his daughter (amber) about 6 miles from the end. After asking if I was ok and me replying "she'll be right mate" they went on. However, after a few minutes of walking they turned around and came back to make me walk with them to the end. George grabbed my hand, pulled me up and with the promise of a potassium rich banana at their car, I walked with them to lake morena. I forgot about the cramp as we chatted all the way back to camp where I had the most delicious banana I have ever had. My first taste of "trail magic".

{ 5 comments... read them below or Comment }

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  2. Hi Dave, Great to see a kiwi on the trail, I plan on doing the PCT next year. As I am starting to do my research for the trip I will follow you to Canada. The best of luck to you, and Happy Trails. Hannah (Dunedin).

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  3. This is Allan F,)(45) from St. Louis, MO, USA. Hope all is well. I plan on doing the PCT in 2013 as a quest to change my lifes direction after a brutal divorce. I will follow your journal daily, and if you ever get time to document your starting gear, that would be great.

    Also, if you ever need something sent to a resupply area, let me know....a little bit of cash or dehydrated something or just any supplies in general. Get me the info, and I will do what I can.

    my email address is awfrancis1967@gmail.com

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  4. This is my favourite photo of all time. Very proud, good luck baby!

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  5. Hi Dave! My name is Catherine and I live in Sacramento, CA. I plan on doing a thru hike of the PCT in 2014 or 2015. Thanks for blogging about your experiences. I plan to follow your whole trip. Good luck!

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