The group of hikers we set off with from trail hosts Scout and Frodo.

Today’s Milage: 12.1mi (19.47km)
US/Mexican Border: (0.0mi) to Bushcamp: (12.1mi)
Remaining Miles to Canada: 2637.9mi (4245.28km)

It was 3:50am – my eyes opened. As I went to take my earplugs out I could see my brother Kenyon was already gearing up for the day. I stared at the tarp above me knowing what my brother and I were in for. In three hours we would be starting out on the Pacific Crest Trail – a 2650 mile hike through the United States’ wilderness. Whatever the trail had in stall for us, this day was one of the days in our lives we would remember. I evacuated my sleeping bag which to me was the very moment I started out on our adventure.

I must have slept incredibly well last night. Soon after waking the adrenaline was pumping away at a steady enough rate to equal a tripple shot of coffee. There was not much to be anxious of – just eight months of preparation leading up to now. At this point in the adventure all that had to be done was to enjoy the ride. We were ready! … or so we thought! Neither of us knew of the ordeal which lay ahead which would cost us dearly.

Arriving at the monument at the Southern Terminus was – well, everything I imagined it to be. Grey Wolf was kind enough to drive us out there so early in the morning. The monument had received a significant restoration over winter. I read online in early January that the PCTA’s plan was to recreate the monument as best they could to be an exact replica, but cast with more solid materials making it more resistant to weather. They did a great job of it! It made my brother and I feel rather special that the monument had been completed in time for our departure. Thanks PCTA!

Border Security showed up. They drove past and wished us a safe hike. Their presence made it all the more real that we were right on the border.

We waited for the small crowd to disperse as we like our space and then, our moment presented it’self. We prepared ourselves to take our first steps on the trail.

Setting out on a 2650 mile (4286km) hike brings most people to immediately start questioning their sanity – but strangely enough I missed out on such feelings. My brother Kenyon seemed calm. The start was however incredibly emotional for me, mainly in the form of excitement. I felt the impact of what I was facing and I welcomed it. We both started hiking.

This adventure challenge had been a long time in the making. Having my twin brother (Kenyon) share in the the kick-off to our longest hike yet meant a lot to me. We were both living our dream as we crunched our way through the sunny sands of SoCal. I had my brother alongside me – a veteran long distance thru-hiker which certainly took the edge off being cast out into the deserts of California.

We arrived at our first camp – 4 miles out from Hauser Creek (our target). While we didn’t want to camp before reaching 15 miles, there were so many hikers heading for the creek so we opted to camp early in a tight nook between rocks and shrubs. It was well protected from wind and there was no sign of condensation either. Setting up the tents was tricky but we squeezed them in.

Our first day on trail was a mixture of things. After seeing numerous videos of the area we both knew what to expect, so from that point of view there were no such surprises apart from Kenyon’s encounter with a large red ant which bit into the side of his foot – leaving a nasty sting which lasted a few hours.

The heat did make itself known which is just something we’ll be having to deal with as it presents itself. Heat isn’t one of my favourite things. I’m very much a cool climate creature who looks forward to the zub zero temperatures ahead – at least for now that is!

We carried our water for the day knowing that there would be no sign of water at Camp. Last year was a very dry year which I’m expecting will have a lasting effect on the drier regions of this trail. Thankfully with the previsions carried, we had enough water for the night and for the next few hours the following morning.

So for dinner on our first night we enjoyed Beef Stoganoff by Mountain House with half an Idahoan (potato flakes) mixed in for good measure. We usually mix in enough till all goes stodgy.

The morning will bring a steady climb to the top of the next hill which will provide us with views of Lake Morena.

Sunlight beckons us to the Southern Terminus
Sunlight beckons us to the Southern Terminus

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The group of hikers we set off with from trail hosts Scout and Frodo.
The group of hikers we set off with from trail hosts Scout and Frodo.

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Excitement!
Excitement!
Keno shows the way
Keno shows the way

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The wall which devides the US and Mexico
The wall which devides the US and Mexico

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Final Adjustments
Final Adjustments
Looking North. That mound of rocks on the left would stay in view for the next two days.
Looking North. That mound of rocks on the left would stay in view for the next two days.
Border Patrol pays a visit
Border Patrol pays a visit
Keno takes a look
Keno takes a look
Look Mom! I made it!
Look Mom! I made it!

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We met up with Mikey early in on our hike
We met up with Mikey early in on our hike

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Rail Magic!
Rail Magic!

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First camp! Rocks and Stakes don't make for a good combination.
First camp! Rocks and Stakes don’t make for a good combination.

10 comments

  1. I’m so excited to see you posted! I wish you guys had time for a shakeout. 😉 At some point I’m going to get my hands on your packs and help lighten them up! Looking forward to following your journey and seeing you two again soon.

    ~Pillsbury

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  2. Hi Goran, I was away when you first posted this excellent account of the first days out on your adventure with Ken. On the plane on the way home I watched Reese Witherspoon in “Wild” and it gave me a better understanding of the enormity of it all. Loved your photos and look forward to the next update. Cheers L.

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    1. Hi Lindy, the posts are quite challenging. I have written a few of them but have not had the time to get them to a standard I’d be happy with. I’ll be sharing posts after the adventure which will allow us to concentrate on the hike. It’s a challenging trail. We summited Mt. San Jacinto two days ago. The hard part was the 35 mile descent where a few hikers ran out of water. Kenyon and I were rationing our last litre over five hours in the mid day heat. We were exhausted when finally reaching the water tank hours later. I hope your trip went well and there were at least a few times of enjoyment about. I hope your dad is not to unwell. Bye from Big Bear City. Goran

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    1. Hi Ian, ahh yes, the posts have been put on hold. My brother and I each came down with a virus after only four days on trail. We both recovered but then had colds to contend with. So it’s been a difficult start but we’re getting through more miles each day. I will be sharing photos of our adventure at a later date when I have time to write in more detail. There is no shortage of photographic opportunities out here. We have been incredibly lucky with weather too which helps portray the trail in all its glory. Hope you are well.

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      1. You guys doing ok? The photoes you have up are breathtaking. I bet you’re in incredible territory now.

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      2. Hi Sherwin! We’re doing well here. Haven’t checked in for a long while so apologies for the delay. The resupply side to the hike has been extremely time consuming and leaves very little time for anything else. On the day you messaged us here we reached Muir Hut in the Sierras. The views were the best we’ve had so far with the trail completely covered by snow. We’re in Ashland at the moment and are set for completing Oregon in under two weeks. Your country has it all here. Everyday we feel lucky to be here. Hope you’re well! G&K

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