Mile 0-15.4 Hauser Creek

We were able to start our big adventure today as planned! We honestly didn’t know up until this morning how this was all going to work after hearing so much conflicting information with closures, etc.. We came up with a plan that we feel really comfortable with, one which will ensure we keep ourselves and everyone we encounter safe. So we have 2 weeks at a time planned and will reassess after each period to see what makes the most sense.

This morning we were out the door at 4:50am with Maddie, Max and Savannah, and to the Southern Terminus by 7:35 after a quick stop for breakfast to go. We had to take a bunch of pix at the monument, of course, and then saying goodbye to the kiddos wasn’t too horrible since we know we will see them in just 2 wks.

When planning this trip, I knew that the desert would be the hardest part for me…I was worried that it would all look the same, it could be so hot, exposed and dusty. But we definitely saw some beautiful things today!

AND…we already saw our first snake today! It was lying in the middle of the trail as I came around the corner. It sure didn’t look like a baby rattler by it’s shape or coloring, but when Bri used a stick to touch it’s tail to try and make it slither away, it coiled up so quickly and looked ready to strike! We didn’t want to take any chances, so used some old brush to finally talk it into moving off the trail. For all of our previous backpacking trips, Brian and I are so used to driving to high elevation and then hiking right away 8-10 miles and it was always sooo rough…but today we both thought the 15 miles didn’t seem nearly as bad since we weren’t far from sea level. That part was really nice and refreshing!

There were 50 PCT permits given out for each day this year, however w all the changes in the world right now, we wondered how many people we would actually see today. The number is THREE, plus a couple day hikers, and that was it! When we signed the register at the Terminus, there were lots of people signed in, but definitely not 50 per day! There were 12 yesterday and we were the first to sign this morning, so maybe we will see more come into camp soon. We had 2 choices today: either hike 20 miles to Lake Morena or stop short at 15.4 at Hauser Creek before the final push of 1,000 ft of elevation and 4.6 miles to the Lake. It was only 3:15 when we got to the Creek, but adding all that elevation and mileage when we were feeling pretty tired, meant we might not have gotten to the Lake w much time to set up camp, clean up and make dinner before dark. So…we are at the Creek and currently listening to the most awesome chorus of frogs I’ve ever heard! Sounds like a good way to end our FIRST DAY! Amy