Day 3 – Shuffling Tall

Mt Laguna to Sunrise Trailhead
Mile 41.5 – Mile 59.5

Errr… Shuffling Tall

“You got one of them hiker walks” observed the bemused shopkeeper at Mt Laguna Lodge. I think the owners there maybe take inapproriate pleasure (and profit too) based on their proximity to the PCT. I am sure they see more than their share of walking wounded this time of year. My triathalon friends Mark, Sonjia, and Robbie will recognize it as the ‘Ironman Shuffle’ where teeth gritted, face fixed with a distant stare, the hapless participant somehow propels themselves forward. So when I took the picture above this morning and thought perfect! ‘Walking Tall’will headline today’s post, alas, I remembered my promise of an honest account. The start of today could not properly be called a walk.

Things improved as my legs and feet warmed and rose to the occasion. The trail wound through a grassy forest along a ridge, the cool shadows losing the battle with a hot, rising sun. Even early on, I could tell today’s challenge would be more sun than slope.

Near Mt Laguna Observatory

I should not have been surpised how cold it got last night since it snowed 2 inches there on Sunday. I was however caught off guard by the sun’s intensity even early in the day. I deployed my new favorite piece of trail gear- trekking umbrella! and proceeded to hide under it the rest of the day. What it lacks in glamor it more than balances with pure efficiency. I bet I was 10-15 degrees cooler and not getting toasted pink like some of my fellow hikers. I could tell they wanted to mock the look but they were secretly jealous I’m sure. There was almost no shade today after leaving the Mt Laguna area.

Desert panorama from high ridge

I saw no more rattlesnakes either but since the encounter yesterday, every twig, branch, and misshapen land feature received my full attention just in case. No fanfare or confetti marked my passage of the 50 mile mark save for a friendly horny toad who paused to salute the occasion.

Great Horny Toads! -Yosemite Sam

The name of the game these next few days is water management. Sources are either sketchy or few and far between making for a great math story problem for my young nieces and nephews:

Sign by Annie Peters

If Uncle John drinks 1 liter of water every four miles and the next good water source is 20 miles away, how much water does he need to carry and how much will it weigh if a liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds?
Bonus question: Should he drink from this instead?

A possible water source today

6 Replies to “Day 3 – Shuffling Tall”

  1. Trekking umbrella is a brilliant idea! I am certain it will come in handy for much of the beginning of the trip. Have you been trying the solar charger? Curious how effective it is with real sun. Sleep well John! at least there is some downhill tomorrow.


  2. Hello UnJohn this is Easton, the answer I got was 5 liters that weigh 11.0 pounds. I think for the bonus problem that you should not drink the green water. Good luck!


  3. Cool!!!!!!! It is cool that you saw a toad, but I am afraid of rattlesnakes. Thank you for posting the picture that I made for you. I miss you. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. The umbrella is a great idea! I’d be doing the same. Comfort is key. Reminds me of the stylish mosquito nets you’ll need up in the Alpine Lakes. Super geeky looking but they sure help keep the bugs off your face.

    Brad M turned me on to your blog/trip. I am going to enjoy following along!


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