Day 3: Mt. Laguna to mi 56.2 (41.5-56.2). 14.7 miles.
This was to be my lazy morning/day. I slowly did my morning routines and sat around. Mt. Laguna didn’t open until 9am. I left the Burnt Rancheria Campground at 8:42 am and made it to the Pine House Tavern/Café about 5 minutes later. Me and 3 other hikers waited patiently for the café to open. There is where I would enjoy a Carmel Latte and fill up my water for the day. It’s always nice to not have to filter when you don’t have to! I then made way to the Mt. Laguna Store for some more cold medicine and was back on trail shortly after 10. Today was also the first day I saw clouds in the sky.
Good news! The cortisone injection I got in my right hip before the trip really has seemed to make a big difference. Knock on wood, but no pain! Bad news: my left knee and hip has been killing me. As I hiked this morning, I played with my gait. I found that I was walking a bit pigeon toed, so if I purposely jetted my left foot out or at least straight it made a difference. After a few miles, my hip stopped hurting all together. The knee still proved to be a problem. At my first break, I happened to have cell reception and ordered a knee brace and better insoles to be delivered to the next town.
The first 2 days, I didn’t bring out my mp3 player. I was focused on listening for snakes. Today I brought out the music to distract me from pain. Early afternoon, the most ironic song came on – called 25 miles. Most of the song is completely irrelevant, but here are some of the lyrics:
Twenty-five miles from home, girl
My feet are hurtin’ mighty bad
Now I’ve been walkin’ for three days
And two lonely nights
You know that I’m mighty mad
But I got a woman waitin’ for me
That’s gonna make this trip worthwhile
I had in fact been hiking for 3 days. And I was 25 miles from where I would be meeting my mom and taking a day off in her rv.
Today there were 2 spots where I would fill up for water. The first at a trailhead right near a road. There I stopped for a while when a day hiker wanted to chat. A nice fellow who tried to give me his Half Dome Permit. A few miles later, I stopped at a picnic area where I would eat lunch and rest for a bout an hour. I then pressed on a dew more miles to camp. The designated camp site was in a boulder field, and though it had a great view, it was small and very exposed to the wind. I pressed my luck and continued down the trail and found the perfect spot .15 miles down. Here I recruited two others thinking about trying to find a spot in the boulder field to share the site with (Richard and Woodchuck). A beautiful sunset tonight with the clouds, I opted to camp without my rainfly tonight.
When you go up, you must come down. I left camp around 7:16 am. Today was a lot of steep descent and my knee hated me for it. At some points I had to walk backwards down the hills just to relieve the pressure. I also hate rocks on the trail – they really mess with my step! The trail lost about 1000 feet in just a mile ad late morning was bring in in the afternoon sun and heat. I was for once happy to see the trail going up on the other side. The uphill felt just fine for my knee now.
I made it to the Rodriguez Rd water tank about 1:10. There was about 10 or so other stopped there to fill up and hide in the hard to find shade. I left about and hour a half later. I was fairly discouraged from my knee and the downhill, but I felt rejuvenated after my lunch break and felt much better. The walk into Scissors Crossings was quite nice and gave great views. Even though it was more descent, it was not as steep. Halfway through, I walked with Jangles for awhile which helped pass time. Though about 5 pm I saw my second rattlesnake! This one was coiled and ready to strike at me. I backed up quick, and he started to slither toward me. I kept backing up and finally he stopped but took his time leaving the trail. There was a bush on the other side, and I waited a while before crossing as I could not see where he went. Finally, I skittered past.
I then made it down the mountain and was on flat desert floor until I made it to scissors crossing around 6pm and took my first hitch to the Stagecoach RV Park where I would camp for the night and meet my mom the next day. The past few days I have seen a number of planes and helicopters. On my walk this evening, I had two drones fly right by me. Later that evening, there were fighter jets flying very close overhead. I spent dinner in the laundry room with two other hikers.
Day 4 Stats
7:15a-6:00p, 10.75 hours.
Too many lizards to count
Pro bar meal
Mini slim Jim
1.5 liters at morning camp
7 liters on trail
1.5 liters at evening camp