Miles Hiked: 21.6
Total Milage: 63.7
Luke and I left the hostel around 6am this morning. The morning air was very cool and “town” was completely quiet as we walked thru it to get back on the trail. According to Guthook, the population of Mt. Laguna is 60 people. As we passed through a campground that connects the rest of town to the trail we passed Sam. He told us he woke up at 4am. He’s staying in Mt. Laguna to rest up today. Luke and I had to break the bad news to him that all two of the restaurants are closed on Monday so no delicious town meal to look forward to.
The first part of the trail today was a forest with massive confier trees. I picked up some cones that seemed larger than my head. I couldn’t believe the seeds of a tree could get that big! I’m not exactly sure what kind of tree they came from but here is a picture of the cones.
After five miles we took our first break of the day in some shade near a roadside viewpoint. The trail eventually started going through a mountainous area with lots of sagebrush, Manzanita, and other unidentifiable spiky plants that were about shoulder high. I passed up the first peak bagging opportunity of Garnet peak. It looked pretty but I was too exhausted already to make the extra effort.
Water was sparse today and I carried three liters to a source around 18 miles in. I was being stupid and lazy and not drinking as much water as I should have. Filtering water is my least favorite trail chore and sometimes I make dumb decisions because of it. Luckily today it wasn’t too bad but I know I’m not as hydrated as I should be. I’ll catch up in town tomorrow when I have some ice cubes to go with it.
The best spot Luke and I took a break at today was under a massive boulder near a place called Oliflame canyon. There were massive white granite rocks sticking out of the green brush and it was so pretty. Luke and I pushed through a bunch of spiky brush to get to the perfect shady spot under the rock. I was thankful for the long hours of hiking today so I had time for many breaks. My feet have started to hurt but it’s hard to tell if it’s just the beginning of the trail or if I’m actually pushing it too hard. I’ve decided if my feet are swollen for two days in a row then I will definitely take time off until they are normal again which should only be one day if I play it right. They were swollen in Mt Laguna but some Advil did the trick and they looked and felt great again in the morning.
Our last really long break today was at the water source. We hiked 0.3 miles off trail through a trailhead on a highway to a water tank. It was hot at 2:30 when we arrived. We found shade next to the water tank and immediately set up our stuff to relax in it. We ended up staying at that break spot for almost two hours. Since there isn’t water for another nine miles I drank a liter at the source, cooked my dinner, and filtered four liters for dry camping in four miles. Two other hikers joined us for about 30 minutes before we continued on. Their names were Joe and Sue. Sue hiked the PCT in 2007 and repeats sections every year. She reminds me of how I go back to repeat sections of the AT.
Camp was at the bottom of a long decent into a green valley. There were about six other tents nearby but everyone seemed to be asleep or relaxing for the night. I was honestly so tired I didn’t feel social anyways. Today my body felt so much better than I was expecting and I was really happy about it.