What to Expect Here

We live in an area of San Diego called University City.  Within walking distance of our house (~1 km or 2/3 mile) there are a post office, a mainstream supermarket, a natural-foods type grocery store, a drugstore, and several restaurants.

When you arrive at the house, we will give you a brief orientation tour.  This will be in the backyard and in the garage.

We have available for you maps of the neighborhood and trail information.

We generally have 3 or 4 former hikers staying with us to help out, and they are a good resource if you have questions about gear or about the trail.  Try to arrive early enough in the day to benefit from this, and from interactions with other members of the class of ’22.

Sleeping: We have three large tents in our backyard, and we plan to have 4 hikers in each, so there is plenty of space.  Unless it is raining, we plan to have the ends and side windows rolled up for ventilation.  We also have three camping tents donated by Big Agnes.  We plan to use these for couples or for “pods” of people hiking together. They have the potential to house 3, 4, and 5 hikers.  Our treehouse has a queen-size mattress, and a couple can sleep there.  We plan to have a space under the fig tree (less condensation!) for hikers to cowboy camp if they like.  If you prefer to set up your own tent, that will be an option, but you will need to use bricks instead of stakes in our artificial turf!

Local Gear store REI: Every afternoon we will shuttle hikers from our house to gear store REI.  You can order gear online from them and pick it up at the store, or do your shopping there.  Because they have some supply chain and inventory issues, they strongly recommend that you order gear online as soon as possible.  You can have your gear shipped to our house (see “Packages/Fuel” page) or you can pick it up at the store.  If you need the store to hold it longer than the usual 14 days, we can arrange that.  We’ll update this information when we know more.

Resupply/Shipping:  In our garage we have tables set up and boxes and tape and Ziploc bags available for packaging things to ship home or ship ahead.  You can also have packages shipped here and we store these in the garage.  More information is on the “Packages/Fuel” page.  Unless you are coming from outside the country, please don’t plan on sending more than one or two resupply packages from our house. U.S. hikers who use resupply packages usually ship them out from home before they come to San Diego.

We will keep the large garage door always open during the day.

Scales:  We have scales for weighing your pack (the “Scale of Truth”) and a scale for weighing items under 6 pounds (2.3 kg).

Meals: We provide dinner and breakfast while you are here:

Dinner: Usually dinner is served at 6:00 pm in the backyard. If you are all ready for your hike and you’d like to help prepare dinner, that is always appreciated; tell Scout or Frodo.

Breakfast: 5:30 am for hikers heading to the trail.  This year we will serve breakfast outside, which means that you will need to contain your enthusiasm and keep your voices low.  Our neighbors are very tolerant, but they don’t wake up this early.

Breakfast usually includes fruit, steel-cut oats, either scrambled eggs or a frittata, and home-baked muffins. Coffee and tea will also be available.  International hikers staying more than one night can have breakfast anytime between 6:15 and 7:30 am on their first morning.

We do our best to accommodate dietary needs and preferences. There is a question on our sign-up form regarding this.  It’s a good idea to double-check with Frodo when you arrive to make sure your dietary needs are on our radar.

Lunch: Please take care of your own lunch while you are here.  If you are coming from within the U.S. (one-night stay) and arriving in the morning, consider bringing lunch with you.  Within walking distance of our house are several restaurants and also two grocery stores with deli counters.

Alcohol:  In our fourteen years of hosting hikers, we have had only 3 or 4 poor experiences – they all involved excessive alcohol.  It is our preference that drinking be kept to a minimum while you are with us.

Marijuana: We know it’s legal in this state, but two things: 1. There’s a mandatory federal border checkpoint on our drive back from the trailhead. Once, one of our drivers was detained for an hour as his vehicle was searched because the dogs smelled pot.  Don’t plan to carry any pot in any of our vehicles. 2. Please do NOT use it at our house or in our yard.  You should be “at the top of your game” while getting ready to start your hike.

Pets/Dogs:  We have no pets and we are not set up for hosting hikers with dogs.