The TCT is a ~38 mile hike that traverses Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of southern California (route). This was my first solo backpacking experience, and first thru hike.
I found the trek to be quite idyllic. The trail is easy to get to, there really aren't any animals to worry about, and the views were quite incredible. I'm surprised that I hadn't heard about this trail until recently. The only negative I've heard about the trail is that it can be too hot.
Started in town in Avalon. Very cute and touristy. Felt like a ghost walking through town as a backpacker - just passing through. Not used to backpacking outside of wilderness. Was raining right off the bat, but it felt good. The island almost feels like a foreign country. Reminds me of Zamami Island in Japan. Green rolling hills against endless ocean. Ferry ride to island was 50% backpackers, was worried about trail being crowded but it is not. Passed someone maybe every 1 to 1.5 hours. Lucky it was cloudy on my ascent, trail is very exposed, no shade. Saw a lot of bison tracks but no bison. Legs sore. Tired but not destroyed.
Slept really well - maybe best tent sleep ever - despite weird beeping bird sound. Felt a rush to get going in morning then thought, "what's the rush" and took the morning really slow. Really enjoyed that. Legs sore from day yesterday. Went the wrong way for half a mile until I thought to check map. Had to walk steep uphill to get back on track. Trail went up to ridge and down to inlet. So pretty. Bright green, lots of cacti, blue sky and water. Stopped at "Airport In The Sky" and watched a couple tiny planes land. Just me at Shark Harbor, except for pesky brave squirrel trying to raid my stuff. Had to chase away like 5 times. Camp is right on beach, pretty cool. Other side of camp area has bad fishy smell, luckily my site is not over there.
Didn't sleep well, waves are super loud. Also got nervous about tide coming in and moved tent in middle of night. Amazing to wake up on sunny beach. The trail today was long and hot, but gorgeous. Saw a fox, was magical. Ran off before I could get a photo. Also saw a bison. Grabbed sandwich from store when I passed through Two Harbors. Surprised at how uninhabited most of the island is. Several groups at Parson's Landing. Camping right on beach again. Beautiful sunset.
Didn't sleep well again, loud waves and bright full moon. Easy walk back to Two Harbors. Another gorgeous day. Green rolling hills. Ate pizza from store and read while waiting for ferry.