The official kick off day was postponed until July 12 to allow time for some much needed snow melt. I started my journey with a lovely young lady and hiked 30 miles to the monument from Hart's Pass. Naturally, a hummingbird greeted me at the trail head... I miss you Mom. Thanks for showing up and sending me off. And many thanks to the love of my life for driving us up (so sorry about your flat tire returning home). The weather was great and our spirits were high... until I had my first experience with the treacherous snow crossing over Rock Pass. My new favorite possession in life is the trusty ice axe. My life flashed before my eyes as I slipped traversing a snow slope of death. I can proudly say I now know how to self belay. Julia was ahead and snapped this bad ass action shot.
This is one of the reasons why I wanted to go Southbound (SOBO), to deal with my fears and get the hard parts out of the way from the start. It's all downhill from here.
There was something magical about seeing the monument poke out of the brush on the border. It was the first time reality set in. I'm really here, on the Pacific Crest Trail, about to start my life changing journey. I still can't quite comprehend what I signed up for, but it is far more spectacular than I could have imagined.