Mt Laguna to Sunrise Trailhead
Mile 41.5 – Mile 59.5
“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.
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.
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.
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:
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?