Date: April 6, 2016
Bushcamp* (mile 27.7) to Laguna campground (mile 47.5)
*bushcamp is camping in an unmarked campsite. Andy learned this term from and Aussie who hiked the PCT last year.
We woke up at just before 6 with a goal to start hiking by 7. The night was calm and we both slept well in our secluded camp spot off trail. We left camp at 6:45- getting closer to our goal of 30 min from waking up to walking!
We hiked 2.5 miles to a natural spring. It was our first natural water source and felt like a little oasis in the dry desert.
We hiked on into the wind, hugging the hillsides winding up and up toward Mt Laguna at 6,050 ft. In total we gained 2,500 ft but spread out over 14 miles it felt pretty mellow. The trail meandered through manzanitas, oaks and high chaparral.
We met a few more hikers, including one hiking with his dog Lucy. Like highways, the closer you get to towns- the more people you see.
We walked into the town of Mt Laguna in search of running water to wash our faces. The strong winds made for a sticky and thick conglomeration of sunscreen and dirt. Andy got a new buckle for his pack (thank you Mt. Laguna Outfitter and Pilsbury) and we road walked another .5 mile back to the trail.
Home for the night lay 4 miles ahead and with peanut m&ms and bars in hand we we set out for the final push. Unfortunatley- there was no campsite. Instead we ate dinner, aired out our feet and stared out into the distant mountains knowing that soon we will hike there.
We rolled into the Laguna campground (.7 miles off trail) around 6:30 and were sorely disappointed to learn that a single campsite cost $23!
We wandered around looking for other thru hikers to share a spot but ultimately decided to camp by ourselves- away from the social butterflies.
We are not feeling overally social at the moment. Hopefully that will change with time as we figure out our routine and settle into the groove.
We are happy with the progress we made today- surprisingly feeling less tired than the day before.
Tonight we are grateful for cool temps and home cooked meals.