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The adventure begins! I said my last farewells to Colorado and flew into San Diego where I was greeted with sunshine and perfect California beach weather. I am being hosted by an amazing lady named Nicole and her roomate Kristen who typically hosts bike packers, but they were gracious enough to extend their hospitality to a hiker. After taking a mandatory dip in the Pacific at Ocean Beach, I was able to eat an amazing last homemade dinner of fresh vegetables, lions mane mushrooms, tempe stir fry, and fruit with my dear friend Katie and new friend Dana. I even got to try a cherimoya, which looks like a dragon’s egg on the outside and has a custard-like consistency on the inside; would recommend! Fresh, hydrated, fruits and vegetables are a rare treat on the trail and I know I will be missing them soon. Since kumquats are in season here in California, I couldn’t resist adding a half pound of them to my pack to get me through the first couple of days in the desert. They are the perfect trail fruit if you don’t mind the extra weight: robust but edible peel and refreshing in the heat! I’m headed to the border tomorrow afternoon so I can start my hike bright and early on Saturday.

Happy Trails!