Day 7: To Kick-off

Day 7
April 25

To my surprise, no one got up super early! We spent the morning packing up our things and loading them into the truck. Leann, the other woman who spent the night there, would head out later in the day. We got into the two seat pick-up with Muk Muk in the middle, straddling the gear shift. It was not a comfortable ride in any sense… We headed back to Lake Morena, which we had by now hiked 90 miles further north of.
As we approached the Mt. Laguna Store, we spotted Lion King walking down the road. The trail angel asked him if he wanted a ride, but he declined. (I’m not sure where he would have fit…) He stopped the car and went inside the store to scope out the hiker box. (He had containers full of food and hiker supplies that he had picked out of these boxes for himself back at home). The store owners were delighted to chat with Muk Muk and I patiently waited. Then, we headed back into the truck for the final leg of the trip. The trail angel asked Muk Muk her age and tried to teach her the lyrics to a song. He had her sing the opening lyrics over and over and over… It was driving me crazy. I just wanted to get to our destination and out of that truck! We pulled into the campground, waited for him to chat with people, and then he drove me to my assigned campsite. I was put in the single girls area (it was named “Girl Power!”) and picked a spot to set up my tent. Once I was settled, I headed back to the main part to try to find Muk Muk, who was going to sleep inside Dirty Girl’s RV. She hadn’t registered for kick-off and the trail angel said he would get her in by having her work at the Dirty Girl Gaiter booth. As I walked by the restrooms, a man asked me if I needed shampoo while someone was shouting my name across the way. My attention was torn. I told the man no thank you- that I had showered earlier in the day! I then saw that it was Muk Muk and the trail angel who were calling me from inside his huge tent set-up. They had just finished eating and were about to head out to their assigned jobs. I started to worry about not bringing extra food for the weekend. No food was being served this first night and no lunches were being served, either. I headed back to my campsite to do some catch-up journaling on the first section of the hike. I also had to finish planning my yoga classes! I got a text from Drama saying that he hoped I wasn’t too mad at him, but he and Lorax decided not to go to kick-off and just continue north instead.
After registration officially opened, I went over to check in and receive my PCT class of 2013 bandana! I felt so proud! I ran into a familiar face there, as well. Cookie Monster! I had met him outside of Pinkham Notch on one of my test hikes for the AT in September of 2008 and he played a big part in my decision to go ahead and hike the AT. I thought he had hiked the PCT years ago, but found out this year was his first attempt! When I triggered his memory about how we met, he said, “Welcome Home!”. What a small world!
Later, I found Muk Muk again and she said that she wanted to introduce me to a doctor who had fixed up her blisters, given her 2 pairs of hiking shoes to try out, and attached sheepskin padding to her shoulder straps. She thought he could help me with the sores on my shoulders from my pack straps. I went over to meet him and found out that he was actually a retired truck driver who, for the past four years, was helping PCT hikers fix their foot problems! He said that I didn’t need the padding that he had given Muk Muk and wanted to put some medicated Gold Bond powder on the affected area instead. Since he was busy and I wanted to go to the yoga session that evening that was being lead by another hiker, I agreed to come back later.
As I was warming up a bit on the lawn and going through what I planned to lead in my class tomorrow, Bones came skateboarding down the road! We chatted a bit and he told me that he would try to attend my Saturday session if he wasn’t too-hungover. He planned on walking the 20.6 miles from the border back to Lake Morena tomorrow for fun. The yoga session was quick and ended in the chilly air that came with dusk. I returned to my tent for my headlamp and warmer clothes and then headed back to Dr. Sole’s RV, where Muk Muk and I were invited in for cookies and coffee! We were so cozy and content!
Then, it was time to bid each other goodnight and head to sleep. On the way back to my tent, I stopped in at the Pavilion to watch the end of a movie about the AT. It brought out a lot of emotion in me. I felt thankful to have discovered this lifestyle and community and pride for what I had already completed and what I was about to embark on. Tomorrow, I would lead my first yoga session down by the lake!


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