Lake Morena to Mt Laguna
Mile 20.4 – Mile 41.4
“Why am I crying?” I wonder to myself as I walk my way into the damp morning, the wet grasses sharing their moist greetings. I was thinking about a message I had just received from my brother Dave with words of encouragement, a benign observation about “some elevation today”, and a Springsteen video as added bonus. As far back as 1995, just at the advent of the Internet, Dave and I would find and follow dispatches from far flung adventures. Expeditions to Mt Everest were some of the first to use technology to tell their stories of adventure in near real time. Now being on the other side of the storytelling triggered a well of emotion I didn’t know was there. I am going to chalk it up to joy.
I woke up this morning at 4:30 to the light patter of rain on my tent. It’s important to know that ‘hiker midnight’ is 9pm so I had plenty of rest. I packed my wet things and set off around 6am.
The trail started flat, winding its way around Lake Morena before rising into the Laguna Mountains. A marine layer blocked out the sun and I imagined the wispy fingers of clouds pulling me up the hill. The clouds seemed to keep rising, eluding capture until finally I entered their hushed kingdom, my labored breathing the only intrusion. Beauty abounds!
Dave’s ‘some elevation’ turned out to be over 6900 feet today so I’m glad he wasn’t specific with his warning. The sun finally broke through giving me a chance to dry out my gear during lunch. Then the race was on to see if I could get to Mt Laguna Lodge and my first resupply box before ithey closed. Almost immediately I came across a small rattlesnake sunning himself in the middle of the trail.
Nothing like a little adrenaline to fuel the final push up the hill. I made it to the store in time but was pretty grumpy about the extra .5 mile to the store. My dogs aren’t just barking, they are howling. What you don’t see in this picture from the lodge’s front porch is the 7lb bag of ice under my feet. I know the Sierra are more than twice the elevation but today was a sufficient test for this Tenderfoot.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings -John Muir