19th April 2015 18.8 miles
Bush camp (33.9) to Picnic Area (52.7)
Mt Laguna PCT
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. They both passed my 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 Pacific Crest Trail was making us hungry.
The omelet with all the trimmings was bought out at 10am. It didn’t disappoint. The 3 of us lazed around Mt Laguna PCT 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’.
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