May 4, 2015 (1st Re-Ration – Mt. Laguna)
Long Canyon Creek Ford (37.7) to Campsite on trail near Garnet Peak trail junction (50.0)
12.3 miles today
50 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 1,844 ft, – 1,831 ft
It is unbelievable how quickly the scenery changes on this trail. This morning we woke up alongside a trickling stream, shrubbery and oak all around and not a pine tree in sight. From there we hiked a blessedly easy 5 miles to Mt. Laguna, where we were lucky enough to meet up with my mom for a shower, resupply, and a little off-trail time. Unfortunately I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to upload the last couple days’ blog posts, to no avail, and didn’t get to be as fully present as I would have hoped. But no one could have missed the drastic change in environment between our first few days and Mt. Laguna, where we met my mom. In just a couple miles we fully transitioned from hot, dry desert to lush, green forest. It was absolutely beautiful, and a good reminder that not all of the trail would look like those first few days.
We left my mom in the afternoon, ready to put in another 7 miles before dark. Little did we know, those 7 miles hiked us right out of our comfortable forest, and right back into a new, perhaps even more formidable, desert. We were lucky that there was cloud cover and cool temps today because this desert that we’re in now has no trees, lots of dust, and miles of exposed ridge line. In fact, as I speak, we are caught in a brutal wind tunnel, with 50 or so mph gusts whipping against our tent, and both Don and I curled in our sleeping bags, hoping our reinforced corners, stakes, and guy-lines hold out. Tomorrow the plan is to put in our first 15 mile day, and to be honest, I’ll just be happy to get 15 miles away from this windy, exposed ridge.