PS: I Already Smell Bad

Day Two, 16 Miles

Last night at Lake Morena I slept a thousand years, cuddled in my blue cocoon, in my Copper Spur palace amongst the sea of Zpacks. I didn’t wake until the howling of coyotes, and the ruffling of turkey feathers. Enough noise that it seems certain that someone was eaten.

I woke generally upbeat, albeit a touch sore. A surprising amount of condensation collected overnight, and I was glad to have a double-wall tent to protect me from the dampness. I had a slow start after a high-mileage first day, sipping coffee and doing some yoga stretching. But it didn’t take long for the sun to feel hot, increasing my sense of urgency to log some miles before the hottest hours of the day. I packed up at left camp at 9:30 a.m. (this is already afternoon in hiker terms).

Around 11 I came into a spot of cell service, and stopped in a bit of shade to blog, playing leapfrog with some hikers from Birmingham and Ireland. Shortly after, we all gathered in the shade beneath a tree, enjoying our lunches as we dried some still-damp gear in the sun.

We talked about Bob’s Burgers, favorite gear, and what we brought as luxury items (mine are wool sleeping socks so thick I cannot wear them with shoes, and Luna Sandals). Then I forge ahead alone, hiking into the late afternoon, when I ended up making a short off-trail detour to a campground to resupply on water. I spent some time considering a stay at the campground, but found myself feeling out of sorts away from the trail.

So at 5 p.m., when I probably should have been resting because today I told myself I’d have a low-mileage day, I hiked a few more hours with the promise of making it to Mount Laguna in time for a late breakfast tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow I’ll wake earlier and hike the seven miles to my first trail town. But tonight is a different camping experience, as I am alone and truly “out here.” Yes, I’ll feel a bit scared. But facing that fear is a big part of why I’m here, and I remind myself to embrace the peace and uncertainty.

I listen to a bit of a Harry Potter book on Audible, and journal this recollection of my day, trying not to think about mountain lions. I’ll drift off as the first stars begin to show themselves, the moon a luminous sliver in an otherwise inky sky.

PS: I think I already smell bad.

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Comments 3

  • Danae Guerrero : Apr 9th

    Hi there Leah!
    I’ve been wanting to do this trail for the longest time, but I’ve held off for many of reasons—one being my fear of going out there alone. It is a scary feeling considering I have been sheltered all my life, but I think that for now I will resort to following your posts! I look forward to reading more!

    • Leah : Apr 10th

      There are a lot of people out here, and you won’t be alone for long of you don’t want to be. 🙂


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