Mark greeted Lauren and I at the airport, after the delayed flight finally arrived. Pulling into Lauren's brothers place after 11pm, he treated us to a tasty drink, and a midnight california burrito. He told us his goal was to pump us so full of fat, carbohydrates, and calories that we would be able to walk the first 500 miles without stopping, and the first 1000 miles with nothing to eat other than the leftovers from the meals he would drop upon us.
Our stay in San Diego was largely about eating and relaxing. Monday morning we went to a favorite breakfast joint of Mark's. The line was too long, so we continued to another favorite, only to find it was closed for remodeling. We ended at some 50s diner filled with Hollywood memorabillia. Post caloric intake we headed home for a nap.
And then we ate again, at a neighborhood sushi joint. It was nice to have a "light" meal, after the indulgences taken with Paul, and now Mark. Post sushi, Mark took us on a short driving tour of San Diego.
Tuesday morning, we went to Old Town San Diego, where we enjoyed some authentic mexican cuisine. Being over filled, I could not finish my quesadilla appetizer. Mark said I would be wanting it 300 miles down the trail. Well, I am ten miles down the trail, and it is sounding mighty tasty right now.
Wishing to stay properly hydrated for the hike, I went with a "virgin" margarita, assumint it would taste good. We were at an authentic restaurant after all. Turns out, I was very wrong. Halfway through the meal, Lauren orders me a "real" margarita. Much better (even if I was carded).
After a hearty mexican brunch, we drove to Balboa park. We spent a couple hours walking around. We ducked into the Botanical Garden.... And looked at a beautiful array of plants.
After the walk, we returned home, where Mark cooked up some fierce salmon, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. We chatted late into the evening with a movie playing in the background, and crashed just after midnight.
This morning, we ran a few small errands in town before Mark drove us to the trail head. It was nice to have someone see us off.
Today (April 14th) we started hiking just past noon. the weather was perfect, the temperature was better, and the company was the best.
Within the first mile, we spotted our first rattlesnake (and only for the day). The terrain was very mild, and easy on our non trail worn bodies.
Lauren and I took lunch after seven miles. We joked about how the rocks were our couch, and the view was was our wide screen TV. Lauren even commented about the quality of the surround sound, while I noticed the "central heat." As the wind picked up a bit, we finished our climb up the hill and took an early campsite at 10.5 miles in, leaving 9 miles for tomorrow.
Now, we sleep.