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Mile 28.6 Kitchen Creek – 41.5 Mt Laguna (12.9 miles)
Rose: Beautiful cool morning to hike, which made the climb more tolerable Bud: getting stronger, finally a couple nights in a row on trail Thorn: windy afternoon solo in a tent
I woke up at 5 and was on trail by 5:50. The morning was foggy and cool, which felt fantastic to hike in. The views were partially obscured by fog. I saw four bunnies! Mornings are my favorite time to hike.
The high today is only 67*. I wish I could take advantage of the cool weather by hiking big miles, but my body isn’t there yet. I’m trying to listen to my body and pace these first three weeks nice and steady. Already, my feet are getting tougher; I can feel the caluses. My hips are sore on the walk though. I slow down to keep them happy.
Most of the morning was alone, because I was the first out of camp, but the others soon followed, being faster.
At this moment, there’s 4 miles and 800’ left to get to Mt Laguna. My current crew and others are passing me to get there, but I need a quick break and nap. Since it won’t get too hot today, I should be able to hike in the heat of the day to make the shops before they close early for Sunday.
The wind is picking up. The next few days are supposed to be windy and getting colder and then a big heat wave. I’m not looking forward to a heat wave.
After my break, I ascended into a nice walk in a pine forest. It was a nice break from the last 2.5 days of desert shrubbery. It envoked memories of hiking in eastern Washington and Oregon and Northern California.
The food in Mt Laguna was only meh and the general store was expensive.
We have a wind advisory into the night, so many of us have decided to hunker down at the Burnt Rancheria Campground in Mt Laguna. The next few tent sites on trail aren’t very wind protected. Sustained winds of 20–30 with gusts up to 60–70. We’ve all set up tents and are napping while our thin ultralight tents flap around us. The ground, unfortunately is pretty soft. I hope our tent stakes don’t pull out of the ground. So far, they’ve held.
In truth, my body hurts. It needs this long break this afternoon. I wish I could stretch my muscles, but I don’t want to brave the wind outside my tiny tent. This is going to be a very long night with the wind. At least I’ll get to sleep in a little tomorrow with the cool temperatures.
After a little nap, some of us were feeling social at dinner time, but the wind was still intolerable for long stretches. There’s no wind breaks or enclosed communist buildings in this campground loop, so we all drank beers and chatted for about half an hour on the floor of the pit toilet. It was a very clean pit toilet at least. It was a good time.