Miles Hiked: 15.2
PCT Mileage: 493.4
This morning I woke up in the Manzanita Forest of Casa De Luna. I packed up all my things and went out front to the driveway to hang out with everyone. Joe made us all pancakes for breakfast with fresh fruit and coffee. We all put on Hawaiian shirts and got a picture together. It’s a tradition Terry and Joe have done for a long time. I had some coffee and tried not to be antsy about getting on trail. Since I’m cutting back my mileage, I have all day long to not go very far so I might as well kill time at a nice place! Terry dropped me off on the trail around 11am with Flower, Fungi, and Swede. Before we started hiking, Fungi lead us though a ten minute meditation session which was very refreshing to me. Even though it was awesome, I was feeling kind of gross from all the town food and drinking.
It was 11:30 by the time I started hiking and it was hot. I was enjoying the heat though. It was a little breezy and nice to take a few stops and enjoy it. My shin wasn’t bothering me at all. I couldn’t believe it. I was so skeptical. About three miles in Swede and I stopped to take a break in a tiny patch of shade. We both had spots on our body that felt like it was burning. Turns out it was from some Arnica Salve I used at Casa De Luna. Eventually it went away but I thought I was having an allergic reaction at first or that a bee had stung me and I didn’t notice it. Five miles and one backpacker radio episode later, I took another break in a shady spot under a tree with a picnic table. I stayed there for quite a while doing some stretches and eating a lot of food. I cooked my dinner so I didn’t have to carry extra water to do it. Veronica and Sophia ended up catching up. I hadn’t seen them since before San Jacinto. They now have trail names of “Feels” and “Booster Seat”.
Eventually I pushed on into the evening. I was actually feeling sore and fatigued today. I wanted to set up camp earlier than I did but there were not any good spots and I needed to go farther considering the amount of water I was carrying and the distance to the next source. The trail went through a badly burned area. The ground was loose black soil and dust clouds camp up with every step I took. The poisonous poodle dog bush was growing everywhere. I was careful not to touch it. Eventually I made it to a marked campsite on the map. It wasn’t very nice at all. There were burned dead trees everywhere along with the poisonous plants. The wind was blowing bad as well. I sat for a moment contemplating what to do because I wanted to be done hiking but it looked like no good camping was up ahead. Flower and Swede walked by and invited me to join them at camp in another half a mile. The campsite was way off trail and downhill which I usually don’t go for but it seemed like the best option. I was glad I followed them because I got to set up camp in a nice grove of trees and the wind was very minimal. My shin only ached a little bit when I took off my compression socks.