It’s been nearly a week on the Pacific Crest Trail and I am at mile 52.6. I have been averaging a little less than 10 miles a day thanks to my two Nero days, but now that I’m on my own I’m finding myself at a much quicker pace.
I woke up this morning and took a shower even though I was already clean. I figured I got a hotel room and I may as well take advantage of it.
I then did an inventory of my food and calculated approximately how long it would take me to get to Warner Springs with my current mileage. I guessed about 4-5 days if I continue to average 10 miles a day and found that I really only needed to purchase snack items and a days worth of breakfast. Since my appetite had not been much for the first few days I still had much of what I had started with.
The store was extremely over priced though they had an amazing selection obviously geared towards hikers. I snagged a box of propel packets, a giant bag of Munchies, and some cream of wheat and headed out to the front porch to repackage and sort my food.
Splayed out across the entire length of front porch sat hiker after hiker, waiting for boxes and resorting their food. Everyone was trading food and deciding what they no longer needed and wanted to send home. Since I didn’t have anything to send home I took off back on the trail.
Coming out of Mount Laguna is absolutely beautiful; Probably my favorite part of the trail yet. First you are shaded by the pine trees and then you start to wind around Garnet Peak through the Manzanita and shrub. The trail here is extremely windy and in my attempt to stay out of the sun my umbrella broke.
Views of the lower desert coming out of Mount Laguna. I was making my way from a rocky, forested area to the harsh low desert basin.
I continued on a little disappointed, but still thoroughly enjoying the view of the trail. The first glimpses of the lower desert were visible and I stood on top viewing the desert far below. In the distance you could see clouds falling over the top of a mountain. The trail would on through the hills with that as the backdrop. I felt the hairs on my body raise and had the urge to cry. It was so absolutely beautiful.
Upon reaching Penny Pines Faucet I found a note, to my dismay, that the next water source that was supposed to be 3.9 miles ahead had dried up and it would be another 11 miles to the next water source. I filtered myself about 5 liters of water and attempted to “camel up”.
Photo Terri took of me next to a trail marker near Pioneer Mall Picnic Area.
Five liters was probably a little more than what I needed but I wanted to have wiggle room in case something happened. I now kept a smaller bottle of electrolyte mix (Gatorade or Propel) attached to the shoulder strap of my pack with the other bottles of plain water in the back. It made it easier for me to consume electrolytes and water without having to stop or ask someone to grab my water bottles for me.
I’m camped now about 4 miles from Penny Pines Faucet, near Pioneer Mall Picnic Area. The winds here are stronger than any other night on the trail so far, but I managed to cram my tent into a small spot in between bushes to try and block a portion of it.
My hips are sore but my feet feel good. Mentally today has been a lot better than I think every other day on trail so far. It feels like I’m finally getting into a routine and my appetite is coming back. Before I go to bed I mix myself a bottle of electrolyte mix for the next morning and organize my pack and tent so that breaking down camp is a little easier. It’s hard to get up early in the morning when it’s cold and have to change clothes and break down camp so any little bit of preparation really helps.
I hope the winds stay where they are, just mild little billows of air that make my tent feel like a sail boat. Although, no wind would be even better.