Section 1: San Diego to Calexico


Day 5

3.9 miles


Happy thanksgiving! After a tough previous day, and another night of intermittent sleep, our nerves were frazzled. We knew we weren’t gonna make our miles to the next guaranteed camping spot, and we were feeling low. The situation might be new, but the feeling isn’t, and we are well-accustomed to running for town when morale is low on trail. We put in a couple miles (back on Hwy 94, our favorite!) to cut down the next day’s distance and got to work hitching. 

Where's the holiday spirit!?

We were only a mile or two away from the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail, in Campo, CA, an area both of us had been through before. As we neared the Campo mini-mart, we walked in with two southbound hikers just finishing their thru-hike that day. Everyone who came into the store knew about the trail, assumed we were hiking it, and offered easy and friendly greetings. What a relief to be back in the hiking community! And to not stick out for a bit!


As we gulped Gatorade and tried to revive our flagging spirits, another hiker approached and started up a conversation. Turns out he was a fellow Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, and hoped to hike the PCT the following year. We talked trail for a while and then he offered to drive us wherever we needed, which in this case was Jacumba, a small town about 20 miles east with a resort and turkey dinner. We hopped in and made it to the hotel, where we finally were able to shower and hide from the world. Tangerine, our fellow hiker and hitch, agreed to stay in touch with the hopes of coming out to join us at some point. Lots of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Chief among them, this trip’s pattern of turning our darkest moments into some of our best.