Yesterday, after many months of planning, the day had arrived for Donna and I to leave our comfortable home in Southern California and head south towards the Southern Terminus. Our good friend Denice was nice enough to drive us down I-5 and then east on I-8 to my college roommates home. Denice and Donna went to high school together at Camp Lejune High School in North Carolina. Yes they are both military brats. Semper Fidelis. Oorah!!!
The photo above is of Donna and me with Denice. Thank you Denice!
After Denice turned around and headed back home we spent the afternoon relaxing with Mark and his wife Dede. They live in a little town called Lakeside which is about 45 minutes from the southern end of the PCT. Mark and I met while living in the UCI dormitories during our sophomore year of college and then were off-campus roommates during our final two years of college. That was over forty years ago but sometimes it feels like it was just last year. Mark is a retired High School English teacher so I have to be careful of my grammar and sentence structure – I’m probably not doing very well (or is it good?).
After a relaxing afternoon at their house, we went out to dinner last night and enjoyed some good food and wine and conversation. I think it’s going to be quite a while before we enjoy our next fine dining experience.Thank you Mark and Dede!
This morning, after coffee and bagels and a quick read of the local newspaper, Donna and I spent a little time reviewing our food supplies and gear for the next phase of our adventure. Dede has to work today but Mark was kind enough to drive us to Lake Morena Campground which is right along the PCT. We had reserved two small rustic cabins at Lake Morena campground. Early tomorrow morning Mark is going to drive us to the beginning of the trail at the Mexican border and Donna and I will hike the 20 miles back to our cabin at Lake Morena. This is a long hike for our first day on the trail but we’ll be able to hike with a light pack since we are returning back to the cabin for a second night.
Tonight, however, the three of us enjoyed another night together and barbecued steaks on the grill outside our cabin. Of course I had brought a nice bottle of Cabernet alsoThe real adventure starts tomorrow – thanks for reading – stay tuned.