The first day was absolutely beautiful. The weather was warm and moist from the rain. The air was clean and fragrant from the budding desert flowers.
Brendan and I walked together most of the day, meetin new faces that we knew we would get to know much more as we walked north.
The terrain changed significantly as we went along, and the excitement of a trail angel’s chili party 20 miles up from the border was definitely a motivator to make it back to Lake Morena that evening.
The sun went down just as I was finishing my last mile. As I made my way into the almost empty park that had been filled with tents just hours before, I saw the group of people at the Anderson’s camp site in the corner. As I approached with another hiker, someone yelled “hikers everyone!” Which started a slow clap that ushered us in to the party of about 60 people. As the clapping and whistling and drumming subsided, Mama T, or Terrie Anderson approached and have us both a big hug, obviously not caring that we were sweaty, smelly and dirty after a long day.
do you have a trail name yet? You will by the time you get to our place, Casa de Luna. Maybe “The Happiest Man on Earth”? You’ll have to see, the trail will give it to you.
It was an amazing and loving congratulations after a challenging first day. I ate more chili than I thought my stomach could hold, and promptly fell asleep despite the party that would continue into the night.