Monday, May 2, 2016

Day 2 : Mt Laguna, The Trail Provides

Ow, ow, ow. Good morning blister. Ow. I have a nice dime sized blister on the outside of my left heel. I tape it up to reduce the friction. Hopefully it won't be too painful today. Other than that I am feeling great. A little stiff but not really very sore. 

Last night I apparently pitched my tent on a sideways slope. It looked level when I set it up. I kept waking up in the night we my face mashed against the front door. I'm glad my tent has a zippered door or I might have woken up out in the field. 

The day is perfect today. When you think of an ideal hiking day this is the day you think of. I'll have to try to remember this day when the conditions aren't quite so ideal. 

I checked my map when I got into camp last night. No markers, no milestones, what??? I checked my Spot when I started and throughout the day so I knew that was working. What's going on? I imagine everybody’s freaking out. “You said there'd be a map to follow, I don't see nothin’.” Chill out. I figured it out. I mistakenly had my start day set to May 1, 2017 even though the end date is set to October 2016. I'm going to blame it on the developer of the user interface. It should not be possible to schedule a trip that starts after it ends. At least not in this universe. It could make an interesting twist to a PCT Hiker book someday though. Not to worry though I figured out the developers error. Worked around it, set my start date to May 1 of this year and presto, there are all my waypoints from yesterday. You can check it out here.

I think I am going to stick to text here on my blog from now on. It is easier to to upload. I will be posting pictures to Instagram.

I arrive at Boulder Oaks campground and see Braveheart sitting at a picnic table with another hiker. I learn her name is Five Mile. She is looking for a ride because her sleeping mattress has a leak around the full nozzle and it can't be repaired. I asked her what she was going to do? She said sit at the campground and wait for a ride. “Really? How long you think you might wait?,” I asked. She said until she gets a ride. Seems well nigh impossible to me. “Well, good luck, see you up the trail,” I said as Braveheart and I don our packs for the climb to Mt Laguna.

With the great weather the climb to Mt Laguna was long but not killer. The breeze blew in fits and spurts from different directions. Always cool and refreshing. The one thing I am concerned about is that my solar charger is not charging my external battery. I am not sure why. It could be the battery, the cable, or the charger. I'm guessing the cable. If I can get to Mt Laguna early enough there is a chance that the Mt Sports store there will have one. I know, a Mt Sports store having a USB to Mini USB cable? Sounds weird to me too. I've been told that this is the most amazing store ever for backpackers. It has more stuff, and variety than REI in a store the size of the sample family tent at REI. 

I arrived in Mt Laguna to find the campground that was open last year locked and closed. No hot showers. No flush toilets. At least the spigots are turned on and there is a single pit toilet. Somewhat disappointing. I has pictures of eating dinner at the restaurant. Nope. It's closed too. I walked the half mile down to the Mt Sports store. It's supposed to close at five pm. It's now four forty-five pm. 

There are hikers standing outside. Five Mile? “Hi,” she said. She had gotten a ride with a Border Patrol agent. “Trail magic,” she said with a smile. I walk in the door and it's still open and there are hikers wandering the aisles figuring out what they need to buy. Either a lighter replacement item for something they already have or something that they are missing. The aisles only have enough room for a single person the walk in. If you want to pass someone you have to lean your sweaty body into the clothes that line the aisle from the floor to the ceiling. I explain to the owner my problem and before I can even remove to old cable to show him what I need he's handing me the replacement cable. Amazing! Not only is this place packed with gear. He seems to know exactly where everything is. I walk out at four fifty-five pm The grocery store is about a hundred yards up the road. I leave my pack with Five Mile and jog there. I arrive with a minute to spare. I get some Fritos, sour cream, onion dip, and taco seasoning as a supplement my dinner. A also get a couple of knorrs side dishes for the next few nights to Warner Springs. I buy my stuff and the owner locks the door behind me. Yay! I got everything I needed.

Five Mile, Bear, and I walk the half mile back to the campground with all our stuff. We pass the restaurant and see that it'll be open tomorrow. We decide we are going to have breakfast there. We pick a spot close to the front gate, set up our tents and get ready for dinner. Where's my spoon? I look all over my back . It's gone! What am I going to do? I know that I can go back to the Mt Sports store tomorrow, they'll have one. But I want to eat tonight. I make French onion dip with my sour cream using a fork I made from a little tree branch to mix it. I eat three quarters of the bag of Fritos. I'm still hungry. I go to the dumpster, perhaps someone threw away a plastic spoon. No luck. I decide to walk back up the road towards to Mt Sports store. About halfway there I spot a piece of an old traffic cone. I pick it up and imagine I could whittle a spoon, A very floppy bright orange spoon, from it. I then imagine all of the toxins that might be embedded in the plastic. I begin walking further up the road, as I turn the corner I see there are still hikers in front of the Mt Sports store! It was something like six thirty and they were still open. Woo hoo! I chuck the cone into some weeds and walk up to the store and in the front door. “I thought of something else I need, a spoon,” I said. He points to a with about fifteen different types of spoons. The walk back to camp was exciting. I will be able to eat tonight! 


  1. Scott, I found your blog through the PCTA journal feed and love following your adventure. My daughter Sydney and her friend Savannah seem to be in your vicinity right now at Mt. Laguna. If you see them, say hello from Mom. They're the two chicks with shaved heads. Thanks for your map link; now I can stalk all y'all. Wish I were there... safe travels!

  2. You're right ... a spoon is really important on a journey such as this! I'm glad things are going well. Plus I'm super happy that the store was open, and you got what you needed. Keep us all posted ... we are living vicariously through you!

  3. Great writing Scott! Amazing how many items have to be replaced or repaired in the beginning of such a long trip. It seems it doesn't ever matter how much we prepare, it's about adapting and making good decisions along the way. The Lord be with you my friend!