I start my day, wet and cold. My back is really starting to hurt at this point and my legs are still spent from the climb yesterday. My backpack is a little heavier this morning due to my tent and a few other items still being wet from the rainstorm. But I push on.
In front of me is another 2000 foot climb over about 11 miles. Nothing is flat in the desert here.
The weather is pretty mild for most of the day, the sun came out and it actually felt great for once.
The climb up to Mt Laguna winds up over multiple hills, drops into valleys and snakes it’s way up to the peak. Some point along the trail right at about the 5000 ft mark I see the first pine tree I’ve seen all trail. Without even thinking I said “Hello Mr pine!” And kept walking up the path.
In less than a mile from that first pine I was now walking thru the high desert and the environment has shifted drastically. I have now made it to the first forest, the desert is now behind me for a few miles.
The trail at this point still had some snow on North facing slopes and the sun had melted it to where it is now turning into mud. For about 4 miles I sloshed through the slippery mess, making the climb just that much harder.
I managed to catch up to a couple hikers, said hello and pushed on.
Eventually I managed to make it to the spur to where there is a trail that leads into the actual city area. I stopped here to catch my breath and relax for a few. Would you believe it? As I’m sitting here I see a hiker walking South on the PCT and I see something on her shoulder….
Unbelievable! She’s managed to do a huge portion of this trail headed south with her cat. I fricken melted the second I saw it. She tells us that the cat loves people and it started chirping when it heard our voices. So she stops and puts the cat down and we of course, proceed to give it all the love.
The cat “Spoon” jumped into my lap and I knew all the good spots to scratch, soon it became a loaf in my lap, purring and content.
The fun had to come to an end as she took her cat, said good luck and we all moved on.
The walk continued up thru a closed car camping site to the highway, there we walked along the road for about a mile. Along the way was a really great tavern that we stopped at to eat.
Grabbed a BBQ chicken sandwich, extra pickle, a salad and a great brownie I got to munch on later.
Full stomach and all we pushed up the hill a bit more to the lodge.
We arrived and a few fellow hikers were already here, opening up resupply boxes and packing their bags.
We rented a cabin for the weekend, split between the three of us. Once inside we all quickly rushed to get cleaned up and wind down.
After my shower I put on my sleeping clothes, laid in an actual bed, and fell asleep.
Tomorrow is the first real zero day..