(Mile 0 – 22.1)

So…I don’t plan on posting every day, but I thought the first day warranted the extra work. We got a solid start thanks to our good friend Toph (big thanks to you guys for hosting us) and his cute, tiny dog Norri (pictured above). We were at the Southern Terminus before 7, took some pictures and we’re off by 7:10. After literally taking the first wrong path available to us, we started cruising at a good pace.

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Mile 6, first break spot and a sweet cactus.

We both felt great, the first 15 miles had some hills, but in general was smooth or downhill. Once we entered the Hauser National Wilderness, however, it got a bit tougher for me. The breeze stopped and it was fully exposed climbing 1000ft, but of course my wonderful, fitness cyborg wife was unfased. After some fun climbing and mild nausea, we turned a corner to see Lake Morena.

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Lake Morena, mile 18.5.

After a quick downhill we reached Lake Morena and took a much needed rest with Nikki from England and a “Crest Runner” from the Forest service who had previously thru hiked the trail himself. We both felt well enough, so we decided to hike a couple more miles to camp and cut down on our distance tomorrow.

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Sunset behind our campsite, Mile 22.1

Overall, just a great first day, even if I was physically embarrassed by my lady. 20 tough miles tomorrow and we get picked up by our friend Tom to visit out of town friends in Pacific Beach for the weekend, returning mid-day Sunday to start this thing for real.