I arrived at the US/Mexico border with my cousin and his wife at 1830 on Monday following a two-day stay at their home north of San Diego. The three-hour, 115-mile drive brought lots of surprises.

Expecting a flat and hot desert, I was amazed to find towering granite mountains, lush green vegetation and an outside temperature hovering around 40 degrees.

We turned off I-8 and traveled the remaining few miles down Highway 94 and eventually found ourselves on a dirt road which terminated at the border wall off in the distance.

We parked next to the wooden piles marking the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail, took a few photos and said our goodbyes before I headed out on the trail.

Being so close to dark, I walked an easy three-mile downhill stretch to a stream with nearby campsites and bedded down for the night.

The first night on any trail is always interesting. Leaving the city for the wilderness always brings an acknowledgement of reality that the only thing separating you from the noises in the dark and the elements is a piece of fabric no thicker than a greeting card.

I put on a podcast to drown out mother nature and faded off to sleep.

Start: 0.0 US/Mexico Border
Finish: 2.7

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