PCT Mile 37.13 Long Creek
The crunch of my boots on the sand and gravel chips away at the tension in my soul. A quicken heartbeat lightly thumps in my ears as I crest another ridge. Another beautiful vista, while not newly discovered by me, presents itself for the first time as if to say, “We have been waiting for you.” This is the way life used to be. This is the way life should be. – Me
The windmills were churning like giant boat screws as if trying to push the earth. The wind was howling today. Which actually worked out for the best, else it would have been a scorcher.
Today was a great day. My new socks are a miracle. I wore the Injinji socks today and what a difference. While one of my hotspots turned into a blister today, I had zero other feet problems (other than them being fantastically sore.) I believe the hotspot from the last two days turned into a blister today simply because the pressure on my feet, and not due to rubbing. It was already injured.
Austin dropped me off at Lake Morena around 7:40 this morning. It was later than I wanted to start, but it was definitely nice to go home for a night and get my feet issues resolved. It was also nice to see the hubby, Austin, Chris and Simon (my dog).
As I hit the trail, I could immediately tell a difference in my feet. Firstly, they weren’t soaked with sweat within the first ten minutes. Secondly, there was no rubbing!
2 miles came very easily at which point I ran across someone back packing with his dog. Pleasantries were exchanged. I moved along.
At mile 23, I witnessed a red tailed hawk pluck a mouse out of a field. The red tailed hawk was having a great day! The mouse, well, not so much. Perspective is everything.
At mile 26 I came to a camp ground, the name of which escapes me and Im too tired to look it up. It had water and a restroom. Perfect spot for lunch. I had thai noodles. They were very tasty.
After finishing up lunch, I made my way to the 8 freeway where my good friend Eric hid a little cache for me last week. Fortunately it was easy to find! It was a couple of sweets (which were delicious) a small badger carved in stone, and a card. Im really glad I was alone at this point, but I started to cry. And I don’t mean a tear or two, I mean a full on tear duct gully washer. Up to this point, I haven’t been hugely emotional leaving for this trip. I had kept it all bottled up since I knew it would just make it that much more difficult for everyone seeing me go. Today I let that go.
After a few minutes I composed myself and moved on. Miles seemed to cover quickly and with relative ease. Most of my soreness has subsided aside from my left shoulder and my feet. My feet I can understand, they are taking the brunt of the work. My shoulder I will have to do some fab 5 exercises to get worked out.
Today I seemed to be really in tune with the trail I saw a lot of small trash items on the trail. First I saw a button, Quicksilver brand. Next I saw 4 different brand cigarette butts with 20 feet of each other. The next item and the most bizarre was at mile 31, I saw a babies shoe. And not on the trail, off to the side about 6 feet. And the last thing I saw was a pair of sunglasses. I picked those up.
I suspected they may belong to Connor.
I made my own water today for the first time! I busted out my sawyer squeeze filter and pulled water from a creek. Nifty. It was cold and refreshing.
Around 230, it started to get hot and I was pulling some hills. The winds of course had died down a bit at this point and I was sweating up a storm, Drink drink drink. Around 3 I took a break and looked at the map to decide on a camp site for the evening. I could have just as easily camped where I was. It was beautiful. However, I wanted to get more miles in. So I decided on a camp site around mile 36.
Around mile 34 I saw Connor on an opposing ridge line. I guesstimated he was about a mile away. I thought to myself, I wonder where he’s camping. About 10 minutes later I saw Lets Party. She was roughly a quarter mile ahead of me. I called out to her and she heard me, but couldn’t spot me for the brush.
Within a few minutes I had caught up with her. She told me she was planning to camp near a creek mile 37ish. Further than I wanted to go. We negotiated, and she won out. We hiked together the rest of the way. We round the bend, and I see Connor setting up his tent. He was happy to have his sunglasses back.
We all made camp, ate dinner (mine consisted of miso soup, I am so not hungry) and told stories. I regaled my many adventures at Burning Man. Neither have been, but I think we may have some burner virgins in the near future.
Today, I dug hiking. Tomorrow, I should roll into Mount Laguna for my first resupply!
After prepping with Injinji toe socks I tried regular socks for one day and immediately got a blister between my toes, so that was it, like a superstitutious habit, I would only wear Injini socks for the rest of my thru-hike last year. Sincerely, Tartan
Im glad to read that hiking went well this day.
I’m pretty familiar with the trail South and North of Mt Laguna. Should be green and not too hot. today. Happiest of trails to you, James!