Southern Terminus 0 to Lake Morena 20
Today was the big day. The night before was a little rough. I finally started to feel nervous and my stomach felt like it was in a vice. I didn’t sleep well at all and felt like I was going to puke all night. Morning wasn’t any better and I wasn’t in the best of moods because of the crappy night and because I was really nervous.
We got to the monument around 7 and there were already 4 or 5 people there. We started taking some pictures and the two more cars showed up with about 10 people. At that point I was ready to leave but the group wanted to do a group picture. Right after the picture at 7:25 I officially started. My parents hiked with me for almost a mile and then we said our goodbyes. Almost expected my mom to start crying.
The trail is pretty amazing so far I was expecting brown desert with brown desert brush like back home. But it was very green! Sometimes there were even what looked like oak trees. Green rolling hills and boulders.
After a few miles the herd I was in stayed to thin out and I spent the next 10 miles hiking alone with the occasional passing of someone taking a break. At about 14.5 mile I started to descend down towards a creek. At the bottom I ran into a bunch of hikers taking a break under a shade tree. I say and talked to them for about 30 minutes. A lot of pretty cool guys and a couple German girls. It’s funny it almost seems like there are more people not from the U.S.
We got up from the much needed break and started up the long and hot climb from Hauser Creek. Which I would hardly call a creek. Creeks usually have water. The climb was brutal. I definitely sucked the most. Going uphill saps all my energy and I feel like I’m just stumbling up the hill and having to stop all the time. It was only supposed to be about 3 miles of up hill but it felt more like 6. Finally I reached the top and started to wind my way down and caught my first glimpse of Lake Morena which was my destination.
The climb out of Hauser Creek. You can sort of make out the switch backs going up.
It felt pretty good stumbling into the campsite and dropping my pack. Speaking of which my pack weighed about 29 pounds today. About pounds consisted of 6 liters of water since there is absolutely no water for the first 20 miles. Although I only used about 4 liters. Definitely worth bringing the extra water as opposed to the alternative. Luckily there is a water spigot in 6 miles tomorrow so I’ll only need to bring 2 liters.
After getting to camp I set up my tent and then walked to camp office since it costs $5 to stay the night. I waited for the other two guys I was with to pay and sat in a chair. It was glorious and the beat feeling in the world. As we were leaving we noticed there was a hiker box full of junk hikers didn’t want. In it was was a dirty pair of tighty whiteys! Who leaves dirty under wear?!
We got all checked in and I washed my feet and socks at the water spigot. I’m amazed how dirty my legs and feet got. I wish I took a picture. It was strange my toes were absolutely black with dust and dirt and then rest of my feet up to my ankles were relatively clean. Then it looked like hadn’t washed for weeks on my calves.
A few of us walked about a mile to The Malt where I got a burger and chocolate shake. I mean it is my birthday. The burger was OK but the shake definitely hit the spot. We got back and I went to use the bathroom and had a pretty good laugh at the sign outside.
All in all it was a pretty good first day with only a couple crappy miles.