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April 22-25, Lake Morena County Park

Comments from Attendees

From the journal of Dave and Lexi:

At Lake Morena, we were greeted by a host of amazing folks who were organizing the ADZPCTKO (Annual Day Zero PCT Kick-Off). This is a celebration hosted by past hikers, trail angels, and other fabulous people that came complete with all-you-can-eat barbeque on Saturday night. Other events included presentations on water locations in the desert, trail information for a relocated section of trail in Washington (which seemed a little too far off to be relevant), movies made of past PCT trips, and the annual gear contest. Since Dave has made most of our gear, he's been looking forward to the gear contest, as it gave him an opportunity to show his stuff and get some feedback on it.

Over all, the weekend seemed a little like the first day of college: the new folks are a little nervous about what's to come; the old vets are enjoying their reunions; and some incredible force of organization makes the whole thing work. Everyone here is incredibly mellow, supportive, and just damned nice! I hadn't expected the social aspect of this trail to be a big feature of it, but now I think it may be one of the most important parts of the experience.
I was apprehensive about the kick off crowd, but everyone was so darn friendly, it was a blast. We got to know Munch, Birdnut, Quixote, Cadence, and Monte. (No news on our trail names yet.) We entered the G-FORCE (Gear for Cruising Effortlessly) competition, a pack weighing followed by an exhaustive explanation of every item in your pack. We took Honorable Mention with all our homemade gear. I entered my Pocket House tarp/tent, backpack, and tent stake monopod in the gear contest, taking 3rd place with the tent, receiving lots of nice compliments, and getting some nice prizes.

Thanks to everyone for the fun and learning at Lake Morena for all the mountainmen and mountainwomen. On Saturday I think there was no other place in the world where so much hiking/backpacking knowledge was centered. Kind of neat to be there under those conditions. Thanks again to everyone.

Happy trails, Switchback

Just wanted to extend a congratulations for all involved in planning and executing the Zero day at Moreno Lake this weekend. The event was fantastic. Everyone had a great time, got a lot out of it, enjoyed annual reunions of hikers. I talked to many family members and friends of hikers who attended and they were very impressed with the whole event. I think the thing that makes it work so well is how low key it is kept.

Congratulations for a real great event!!!


Thanks for great grub and good fun at the kickoff.

Regards, geezer5

Thanks to everybody there who helped make the event so enjoyable. I don't know how you all did it, but Saturday evening, over 300 people were fed fat & happy with drinks in hand, primed for the showing of "Walk" (I was pleasantly surprised that a quick shot of myself and the Boy Scout Troop I started at the Southern Terminus with was included in the movie!). Sunday's breakfast was just as epic (HOW many eggs were cracked???).

Also, Thank you to everyone who I've meet through the PCT-L who greeted me and made me feel like a close friend, though we had met face-to-face for the first time over the weekend.

Thanks to all the vendors who provided their gear to display. I thought I was done gearing up...I'm seriously thinking about putting together a UL system (Though I don't think I'll ever get a system down to Billy Goat's sub-9 pounder!)

And finally (but perhaps most importantly), thank you to all the 2004 Crazy Thru-hikers, who headed out on Sunday morning. You're an inspiration to us all. After packing up, Bill and I headed out around 8am. On the way to I-8, along Buckman Road, I saw "The Herd", or at least 10 or so of them making their way towards Boulder Oaks. (Damn, these guys had only been on the trail for an hour or two!). I don't think I've ever wanted to be anywhere else so strongly as I wanted to be on that trail with them!
A quick honk of my horn. Dave waved. I drove on feeling sad that I was in my truck going somewhere I didn't want to...

I'm looking forward to hearing about the progress of these folk over the next 6 months. Living the trail life vicariously through their reports.

Good luck to all the Thru-hikers!

M i c h a e l S a e n z

I had a fantastic time at ADZ. Thanks to all who worked so hard behind the scenes and at the event to made this weekend the great success it was.