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May 21st : Day 1 : Southern Terminus Total Miles: 17.4 . It felt surreal and almost sacred. At the bus stop in El Cajon we were joined by six other hikers. Hikers from all over the world gathered together. Like magnets, we found each other instantly. On the bus ride, we spoke of our excitement, gear, food and fears. And then we arrived in Campo, finally on our own two feet for the first time. No bus. No car. Just us and the trail. The short road walk to the terminus had begun. The group of hikers was mostly quiet. I personally was trying to comprehend that this was really, in reality, happening right now. It felt silly, but as we approached the monument I could only smile. I felt my body exhale. We made it. The hard work, the planning, the saving, and the goodbyes were done. We took our photos at the monument, signed the register, and tried to allow our brains a moment to comprehend that the long-awaited journey had finally become the present. And then we walked. . The first miles were full of chilly air, light rain, and pure delight. It almost felt like a dream. As if I could wake up any moment back in my “regular” life. I wanted to memorize every second that day, to grab ahold of it and keep it safe. But the moments were too sneaky, too slick. It was fluid and changing. Every moment its own memory. I remember telling myself that this trip, this day, these steps are a GIFT. I remember the trail being so much more beautiful than I expected. I remember being so incredibly thankful. For the people I met, the landscapes, the abundance of flowers, the cool air, the perfect tucked in the campsite, and this body that hiked 17.4 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.