A Wind Storm in a Plastic Bag: Day 2-4 on the PCT to MT Laguna

Day 2: mile 11.4 to mile 23

We had our first substantial climb today!  In the morning, Allie and I made a big effort to get started early before the heat of the day.  We managed to wake up around 5am and got started hiking at 7:15am.  We like to take our time in the morning and are still getting used to packing up.

Today the hiking was so much easier because it was cooler and earlier in the day.   We hiked past a red emergency button powered by solar panels.  I had heard about this from other bloggers.  Hikers who need help can push the button and then search and rescue will arrive via the dirt road next to the button.

The main highlights of today were seeing red rocks on the surrounding mountainsides and reaching Lake Morena.  Lake Morena is a small town known to hikers for its Malt Milkshake and burger restaurant and it’s nice park – all very close to the PCT.  At the restaurant, I got a double cheeseburger, salad and a sprite.  Allie got a breakfast burrito and a brownie milkshakes.  It was all really delicious and they had free wifi!

There were some other highlights too!  Allie got her first trail magic from a trail angel who was giving out candy.  The trail community is so supportive.  We also took a long break under a large tree at the park.  I took some time to continue to treat my three blisters.  We met some other hikers at the park.  One, Kyle who was hiking with a broken collarbone (he had a special rig to prevent pressure on the break).  Everyone is feeling good.  So far, I’ve met a bunch of hikers from my AT year of 2018, that has been fun.

In the evening, Allie’s greatest fear came true when she got stung by a bee while we were setting up camp.  Apparently, there was an episode of the tv show Bridgeton where an important character died instantly after getting stung.  In Allie’s case, after a Benadryl, she was totally fine.

We finished off the evening by watching the sunset along with Buck, Robin, Hedwig, and Ilyia.  We thought it would be a windy night but the wind calmed down as the sun went down.

Day 3 – mile 23 to 37

Our first longer day. Temps were coolers, in the low 60s.  Left early, hiking by 6:15. Boulder oaks was three miles in and had water and restrooms and is where the ducks caught up never to be seen again until the follow day.  They were not at our arranged camp in the evening and ended up 0.4 miles away due to a misunderstanding about where we were meeting.

There was a Long but gradual climb out of lake Morena area.  We got super hungry at 10:30 am and had lunch at 11 at a creek and soaked our feet and dried our tent.  It was an awesome spot – the yellow rose spring.  The only annoying part was the 1 mile road walk needed to reach it.

This was a really tough day.  Allie and I were both exhausted.  Allie did really well today, we hiked with lots of breaks) from 6:15am to 5pm.  It was a long day.  We reach MT Laguna tomorrow!  I am hoping to get a shower and some food there.  We camped at 37.2 and met a hiker named Colin.  He asked for some advice and I was happy to share!

Day 4 mile 37.2 to 45.8

We did a four mile hike into Mt Laguna.  Once there, we took advantage of the bathrooms to wash out our cooking pots.  We then met the ducks at the Pine Cafe where we had breakfast and lunch.  In between meals, we resupplied at an expensive small store.  It did have a nice selection but was a bit over priced.

Looking at the weather, we almost stayed at the tiny houses nearby.  But we waited too long and it was booked after breakfast.  All the other places were booked as well.  We ended up deciding to hike on after thinking about it.  We had 6 miles to camp from the cafe, but ended up going 4 due to better wind protection at that spot.  We also realized that we accidentally booked our Julian accommodations for the wrong day.  Thankfully we were able to change it!  Feeling good today.  I had an omelet and fruit cup.  And chicken grilled sandwich with a side salad.

In the tent, It was really rough in the wind storm.  Wind was gusting and it rain sporadically.  The wind caused sand to blow inside the tent and since we accidentally had a backpack against the tent wall, water got in the bottom of the tent.  No one really slept that well because of the wind noise.  The temperature dropped to 32 degrees and it was a rough night.  But we were prepared and our tent held up well and we had great cell service!  The next morning we were in for some windy cold hiking.

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