Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 3 (5/20) Hitting Twenty

Because the title is a but of a spoiler, yes I will confirm that this was in fact my first 20 mile day on the PCT. But how did it happen and how did it feel? Well I got up again at 7 buy this was a slower morning especially with the group and my sore legs, so we didn't hit the trail til 9. That was painful soon into the day as we embarked on a half mile of climbing over the 10 mile trip to Mount Laguna. For the first few miles Gabriel and I went ahead at a faster pace while Mitch and Adam came a bit slower. Adam's blisters were still bothering him so he was wearing sandals again today. At about mile 6 the guys stopped for water but since I had taken more this morning I said my goodbyes and kept going as they went down to soak their feet. I blasted through the remaining miles to Mount Laguna, but on the way had time to take in some magnificent scenery. First off, there were some areas that could have been taken straight out of the hills of Wisconsin. Oak, pine, soft trails of needles - nothing I would expect in SoCal. Then suddenly around a ridge you could see it change. I was looking from the Cleveland National Forest into the Anza Borrego Desert. That's desert with one 's'. But that would be part of some other day, today I would take a few hours off in the town for some dessert, that's with an 'ss'. I picked up a cream soda, an ice cream bar, an arizona tea, an orange, and some lemonheads. Delicious. As I was getting ready to head out the three Canadians made it in, so we chatted a bit before we posted ways for good. They were spending the night at the lodge to let their feet heal up. It was good to have some camaraderie out there for a day and I wished then the best. I also r ran into Bob, Noah's father, who is supporting him for the first few days of his hike. He was 15 miles behind me yesterday and now only 10 today, so it sounds like I'll have company again soon enough.

I took off from Laguna around 3:45 and pushed ahead into the afternoon. I had the most stunning sight when I came upon the true edge of the desert and was able to look down into it. That's for tomorrow I told myself. There was a real nice section hiker there at the lookout, though for the life of me I can't remember his name. He was kind enough to snap my photo there and we ended up at the same campsite, Pioneer Mail st the end of the day. I was shop best though I just quickly made dinner and passed out. Phew, 20 miles, especially with all that elevation gain sure took it out of me. First day over 6000 feet, so that felt good (aside from the slight shortness of breath at the altitude).  Trip mileage now stands at 52.3 miles complete.

If you're curious as to the posting delays, there are a few factors. First I have to have the energy to write the journal, which may mean it doesn't get finished for one or, hopefully not more than, two days. Then I have to actually find a good connection which can be a task all in itself. Later on in the trip I do expect to backlog about 10 days in one section, so that's when I'll be using the SPOT more to keep in touch.

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