19th April 2015 18.8 miles
Bush camp (33.9) to Picnic Area (52.7)
I had a restful sleep finally at my small solo campsite on the side of the trail high up on a ridgeline. I was hiking by 7am and with purpose. My goal was Mt Laguna at mile 41.5. I smashed out the 7.6 miles uphill without a rest break. Part way up the trail I was joined by Dennis from Miami and Grace from Scotland. Thet both passedy campsite just before sunset the night before and camped just a couple of miles from me. They were setting a cracking pace. We all had food cravings that needed to be quenched.
The omelet with all the trimmings was bought out at 10am. It didn’t disappoint. The 3 of us lazed around Mt Laguna for a while, checking out the fully stocked outdoor store. If that place hasn’t got it, you don’t need it. I reckon they do good business at this time of year.
After several hours of rest I set off alone from Mt Laguna. The trail traverses High alpine desert mountains with dry desert below. The area had a fire not too long ago and was still fire scared. The diversity of flowers was stunning. I sat under a large pine tree that had thousands of holes drilled into it by woodpeckers. Why do woodpeckers make the holes? I have had several different answers, please let me know. Some of the holes had acorns in them some didn’t. I was chilling out, listening to the wind and buzz of bees and other insects doing there thing, it was tranquil. Then I was startled by the sound of something crashing into the ground only about 5 meters away. It was a bird of prey, maybe a Falcon. It must have been swooping on some game, but missed.
During the late afternoon I hiked with Cheetah from Calgary and Honest Abe from Tahoe. That’s their trail names not real names, I’ll explain later. Cool dudes who hiked the Appalachian Trail a couple of years ago.
After more than 18 miles I thought I should stop for the night. I still had loads of energy but thought it prudent to throttle back in case I risk blisters or worse. And yes I do have blisters and a nasty rash. Ouch. I spent the night sleeping on top of a picnic table under the stars. True homeless person style. Apparently it’s called ‘Cowboy Camping’ in this part of the world. In Australia, we just call it ‘camping’.