Day 1, May 4, Southern Terminus to Lake Morena, 20 miles(32km)
I am writing the first part of this post at Hauser Creek, mile 15.
This morning we got dropped off at the Mexican border by 5 cars. Or only 4? Brain is already starting to decide not to work top much.
There were about 25 of us. We went to the monument and made the obligatorely group and individual photos. After that I went to the already existing wall, not the concrete one a certain president has on mind, and got another picture there. After that I was off on this epic journey I hope will last a while.After about 5 miles I was ahead of the bunch and had a quiet walk through the southern californian desert. This desert has all sorts of vegetation and now and then I was really stunned about the great views I got from up the ridges. Not only sand but actually trees, bushes, flowers, I even saw water down there. And it was no fata morgana, trust me. Have a look yourself.
Around mile 10 I had my first encounter with a rattle snake. I was walking (duh!) and all of a sudden I heard this loud buzzing and saw the snake on the side of the trail. About 2 meters away from me it was all curled up ready to strike at me if I would have pushed it. Ofcourse I took a step back and these words came almost instinctevily out of my mouth: “You f*cking bastardo”. The snake was actually very gentle and took off in the bushes, keeping his rattle still active. I shouldn’t have described it this way, but hey, it was out of my control… I’m sure my girlfriend would have been convinced that the snake was gonna let this know to his colleagues.
Oh, did I mention it is almost unbearable hot here? Cause it is, especially while walking. According to some folks it’s around mid 90’s fahrenheit (about 35 degrees). So you can imagine that I was happy to reach Hauser Creek at around 2 pm and wait out the heat for the last 5 miles of the day. These miles consist of going up about a 1000 feet (300m) to a ridge and another 500 feet down to Lake Morena. Without shade as an extra on the menu. So waiting, relaxing, drinking (water!) and eating is the only wise decision to take. Even wiser would be to just camp here and tackle it in the morning. Unfortunately I’m not that wise…
Now I’m gonna lay down and do nothing!
So, I’m at Lake Morena but I’m gonna keep it short cause I’m ready to fall a sleep. I left Hauser Creek around 5.30 pm and the heat wasn’t so cruel anymore. But these 5 miles were hard. The climb seemed to never end and with the impact of the heat and the miles from a whole day of walking it took me almost 3 hours to get to Lake Morena. But that’s all over now and I say to you: Good night!