We’re rolling along. Slowly but surely. We’re watching much faster hikers pass us all day long, but we’re also passing folks whose feet look like hamburger or that they’re carrying enough for three people.
For the first group we extol the virtues of our wool toe socks covered by a thin pair of wool hiking socks. Over 40 miles in, with thousands of feet of elevation gain and loss, over hot sand and rocks, and neither one of us have had to deal with a hot spot. No concerns about blisters for either one of us.
For the second group, we’ve been steering them to the outdoor shop in Mt Laguna, where they do a complete shakedown of your gear and whittle it down to what you really need. When we stopped by, we saw a few of the folks that heeded our advice. That was good to see, knowing that they would be lighter. Even if it meant their pocketbook was lighter.
But back to the trail.
Day 3 was a planned 12 miles. We were setting up for a “nero” in the next town, Mt Laguna, on Thursday. A nice warm day with temps pushing 80. That’s not bad, but a couple of stretches without wind were toasty. But with the breeze kicking in, it was pleasant, if not chilly when we stayed in the shade too long. Like for our mid-day siesta.
It’s wildflower season right now, so there are blooms everywhere. Give me my camera and my macro lens and I could spends a week on just that stretch. But that’s true for wildflower season anywhere along the PCT.
Jen got to see her first snake in the wild on this stretch. Figures, I had her running point for most of the day, but soon after I took over, there it was. A harmless garter snake. We’re long forward to our first rattler. But I’d really love to see a gila monster. If only…
But there were other things to keep an eye out for:
Once again, she’s on point. I’m not a dummy.
But once we made it safely to camp, we met up once again with the lovely Kat Davis, a fellow mYAMAdventure hiker, where we were finally able to catch three of the five hikers in one spot that didn’t involve at least all of us with a beverage in hand.
Day 3 – 12 miles (+.8 mile off-trail to camp) / total – 33/2,650 miles
The next morning started off cool and stated that way. A beautiful cool northwesterly wind kept us moving at a quick clip. So much so that we abandoned our plans of stopping short of Mt Laguna so we could “nero” on Thursday. Instead, we decided to push on into town, resupply and see if there was a place to stay in the lodge. If not, we’d head to the campgrounds on the other side of town.
Along the way, more of the same. Fast hikers gliding by, slower hikers hobbled by their feet or gear. Plants, flowers and lizards, but no gila monsters.
I stopped Jen so she could appreciate the real beauty of an in-bloom yucca plant up close. Such a collection of textures, it’s almost like it’s own fireworks show. Starting at ground level, the leaves are a deep green starburst. Moving up, the trunk is dark brown, almost purple, dotted with the white husks of spent leaves. At the top are the flowers, hanging well above my head. Delicate bells of cream and purple, dangling from the stalks.
No, I’m not posting a picture. This phone can’t do it justice.
Lunch time at a flowing creek also means time for a siesta. Even if I have to create my own shade.
Back in San Diego, a friend asked what we were doing for music. Nothing electronic. Instead, I just plant a seed and hear what Jen sings. So far, the playlist has included:
Fraggle Rock theme song,
Metallica (the misheard lyrics versions),
and more than a fee snippets of whatever runs across her mind.
Finally, just a couple of the phrases that are in constant use so we can communicate what’s coming up on trail. Most are self-explanatory :
It’s right around the corner,
It’s a mile, mile and a half,
It’s all downhill from here, except for the uphills,
And the one that will be heard with increasing frequency next week – Are you going to eat that?
Day 4 – 10 miles (+.8 miles from camp to trail) / total 43/2,650 miles
Thanks for reading!