At nine this morning my dad and I stood at the Pacific Crest Trail monument along the Mexican border, all alone except for two Border Patrol vehicles, a helicopter overhead, and a Sage Sparrow perched on the gigantic fence (head in one nation, tail in the other). After a couple photos and well-wishes, I hefted my pack and walked north, alone.
Alone, that is, except for a ton of birds, two snakes, and two girls I unexpectedly caught on a switchback who were beginning a three-month trek before resuming college in the fall (“Just as far as we can make it, like all of California would be cool”). The weather is beautiful, my legs are stretching out, and my dad was nice enough to meet me at a campground tonight 20.6 miles in; he’ll be sticking around for a few days to watch over me before heading home to Oregon. A poorwill is calling – it’s good to be on the trail.