Date: June 5th
Start: Walker Pass (652.1)
End: Spanish Needle Creek (668.7)
Total Miles: 16.6
Twenty-eight days ago I left the specialist’s office wearing a boot. My hike was over. With a help of my friend Bret, I was on a plane back home.
I recovered faster than expected, in part do to my pre-hike training regiment. Because I had exercised hard prior to starting, my ankle and leg were very strong and I did less damage. Years of playing baseball and softball also meant that my legs know they’re going to take a beating and to heal up quickly.
Our trail angels, Teresa and Beverly, dropped us off at Walker Pass at 8 in the morning. I was hiking again and it felt wonderful, but there were still questions in my mind.
Did i start too early? On the one hand, if my ankle hasn’t healed properly, I will injure it quickly, and be out once again. This time for good. On other hand, everyday I sit means my hiker legs become weaker.
I wanted to take it easy and ease into the trail, but nothing about the PCT is easy. I committed to get from Walker Pass to Kennedy Meadows in 3 days. That means 17 miles per day.
This first day is the longest extended climb since I hiked the crucible going into Wrightwood. The included a 17 mile water carry.
By mile 9, I could feel it in my legs. I muscled through it. We got to a good stopping point, but members of my party did not carry enough water. Exhausted, I did another 3 miles with headlamps on. Unfortunately, I used my second wind so I knew tomorrow was going to be a rough day.
After day one, I have no residual soreness in my ankle. I hiked nearly 17 miles, and didn’t delay anyone else. It was awesome.
Late in the day, we reached the 1/4 mark. We still have a long way to go.