PCT – Arrival in the USA

My things are packed and I am ready to start my journey. It’s 5:00 am, I close the door behind me and make my way to Frankfurt Airport.

My biggest worry is that the Deutsche Bahn (Train System in Germany) will be late and I miss my flight. This does not happen – lucky. My flight blows up 10:00 am.

8,5h later I have a 4h stopover in Montreal with border control. The US official is very nice, looks at my visa, asks me a few questions and let me pass. I am now on US ground in Canada.

Montreal is still under snow and I get an SMS with the note: 0.99MB data volume can cost up to 59.90€… holy cow. I prefer the free WiFi fromMontreal Airport.

Artival is San Francisco

My second flight brings me to San Francisco, where I meet a part of my Camino family again. Caminoreunio No. 1 with sightseeing in San Francisco – you can’t wish for a better start. After that I have a beer with Mary-Lynn.

Further to Arroyo Grande

Afterwards we continue to Arroyo Grande to meet my Caminofriends Ken and Barb. This is about three important things:

  • having fun and drinking beer
  • dealing with the Jetlag and relaxing
  • doing the final preparations for the PCT

The Preparation

The preparations for the PCT really skyrocket with my camino friends Ken and Barb. These two are probably the most experienced hikers I know. Practice pitching tents, learn Clove Hitch (special knot) and Slipknot (to skilfully protect the food bag in the tree from animals), prepare food for the first days, plant and animal knowledge, gearcheck, clothing check and so on. The reunion is like a PCT bootcamp. I’m just grateful for that! At the same time, my head smokes like after a hard exam.

An important point in food preparation is the calorie density per gram, since I need calories but do not want to carry unnecessary extra weight. Ken introduces me into his own Excel spreadsheet. 120 kcal per oz are great… 1 oz = 28.34g. Now it’s time for mental arithmetic.

The resupply and bounce box strategy is also discussed. A Bouncebox is a box with things I don’t need directly on the trail. Here are for example my Maps for later sections, ice axe, microspikes and other small things in it. Since I need the things only later, I bounce the package in Front of me to the post offices before me.

PCT Caminofriends: Barb, Ken, Mary-Lynn and I
PCT Caminofriends: Barb, Ken, Mary-Lynn and I

Finally in San Diego

On 03 April I set off for San Diego to Scout and Frodo, two trail angles companies that give accommodation to PCT hikers and take them to the starting point in Campo on the Mexican border.

Between I meet my old Caminofriend Andrew

Caminoreunio with my Caminofriend Andrew
Caminoreunio with my Caminofriend Andrew

In the house of Scout and Frodo are already many other Hiker. Everyone is excited and euphoric. I can’t wait to start either. Scout tells stories about his hikes and gives tips and hints for the PCT. After a delicious dinner I go into my sleeping bag. The last night in civilization for an indefinite time. Tomorrow it starts.  Yiiiihaaaaa


The first week in the USA is over and we’re off on the trail.  I’m ready! If you liked this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.

Greetings, Martin

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Hi, I'm Martin and I love hiking. In 2012 I had my first big hike on the Camino de Santiago. Since then I am hiking addicted and write as HikeJunkie on this blog.
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