April 20, 2017
Total miles: 17.8 miles
Start: mile 37.6
End: mile 55.5
Total elevation gain/loss: 2416.7/2525.3ft
We’re getting better at packing up in the morning. Our alarm went off at 5:45 and we were hiking by 6:30. The morning hiking was beautiful — we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of a pine forest!
We hit the campground near Mt. Laguna just before 8am, giving us more than an hour before the nearby lodge (where we sent our resupply package) and the outfitter (new shoes) opened. We took advantage of the campground bathroom and snuck in mini bandana showers and sock washing. True luxury!
Technically hikers can skip part of the PCT to go into Mt. Laguna, but we opted to go in and out from the same spot. We picked up our package (our bright pink duct tape made it easy to identify) and then sorted through it while waiting for the outfitter to open (late). The outfitter was stuffed (literally) full of gear, but unfortunately didn’t have my Brooks Cascadia shoes. I opted to try out the Altras instead, but trying out new shoes on trail makes me super nervous. Sadly, since my feet hurt so badly it’s hard to tell if the shoes are helping or not.
Our stop in Mt. Laguna meant that we once again were off to a slow start on the day. We hiked a couple hours before retreating to a shaded deck for lunch. I was already having second thoughts about my shoes, in part because my insoles don’t seem to fit well. I cut down the insoles a bit during lunch and hopefully that will help.
After lunch we had another first: water from a pipe/tank setup instead of a natural source. Luckily the pipe feeding into the tank still had water so we didn’t have to pull from the nasty water in the tank. That water did make for a decent ziploc-aided footpath though. Michael has taken over water filtering — he’s enthralled by how much faster the Sawyer Squeeze is than the Sawyer mini (he made me time him on filtering a liter, it took less than a minute). I’ll take it while it lasts!
The afternoon hiking was incredibly painful for me once again. My feet are not happy campers. I resorted to listening to podcasts for a bit while Michael and I walked separately. The wind was crazy, nearly blowing me away at one point!
We intended to dry camp at mile 59.9, but when we got there it was already full of tents and a vicious wind. Between my feet and the uncertainty of camping options in the next mile, we did the unthinkable: we hiked back 0.4 miles to a protected spot. I don’t want to make this a practice and I hope it will be worth it. We intended to cowboy camp, but ultimately set up our tent to escape the bugs. Here’s to hoping that we have a calm night and that I have happy feet in the morning.
Elizabeth: 1 new blister, 2 old blisters (old); chafing (cont.)
Michael: misc. muscle tightness; potentially blister forming