March 14, Day 4
PCT mile 53.48, Gainer Ridge
Last night I camped at 5000 feet elevation, I suspected the morning would really cold but it turned out to be 51 degrees first thing in the morning.
I had a pretty rough nights sleep. The wind blew most of the night. After trying to go to sleep for an hour, I popped a half a ambien. That did the trick, until about 2 in the morning. Then I was wide awake again.
I slept on and off until 6am, at which point I started the water for my coffee and breakfast. Having not really eaten I was pretty hungry. By 630, I had finished breakfast and my coffee and started to tear down camp. I’m getting more efficient. This morning it only took about 20 minutes.
We camped about a half mile from the creek crossing and I was running low on water, so I met up with Lets Party there and refilled my bottles. I only took 2.5 liters as I was only about 4 miles for Mt Laguna.
We said our goodbyes and hit the trail. The hike this morning was mostly through pine covered meadows. It was beautiful. Bird song was abundant. I heard the report of a couple woodpeckers. I really like wood peckers, they are natures original jack hammers. haha
I pulled ahead of Lets Party pretty early, and rolled into town around 9:45. The first thing I saw was a little cafe, So I stopped for breakfast.
I walked in, forgetting I had been on trail for two days and probably didn’t look ‘presentable” i walked in to the dining area and the waitress looked at me and kinda sized me up. That was an interesting feeling.
She said, “you can drop your pack over there and I will get you a table, okay?” I must have looked a little baffled. She then said, “so you have a little more room at the table”
I dropped my pack in the lobby area and sat at a table within eye shot. I definitely couldn’t afford for someone to steal my pack and make a break for it. I ordered coffee and food and headed to the restroom. Much to my surprise I didn’t look that bad. I combed my hair and washed my hands and headed vack to the table.
I turned on my phone and received an alert from my bank saying my balance was low. I thought that rather odd since there was plenty of money in the account two days prior.
I logged into the mobile banking app to discover multiple fraudulent charges. Someone had gotten ahold of my debit card. I called the bank and sat on hold for 10 minutes before speaking to a human being. She was very apologetic and worked to get the charges disputed. The kicker is, it can take 10 to 90 days to get the charges refunded. Oh well what can you do.
I went outside to attend to my conversation with the bank and of course half way through the call the server came out and said my food was on the table.
Fortunately for me the food was still warm and delicious when I was finally able to eat. About the time I started eating Connor rolled in. He joined me and ordered food. I finished up and headed out. That was the last I saw him today.
After breakfast, I wandered over to a sports outfitter. There is a really nice guy named Dave working there. We chatted for a bit and then I asked him where he kept the anti-chafe. The store was wall to wall merchandise pretty much floor to ceiling. I could have spent an hour looking and never found it. He pointed it out and I purchased it.
We started chatting about the trail and he made mention there was the potential for a storm on the 24th on the long range forecast. It has the potential to hit Idyllwild, and the 24th is about the time I should be there. I thanked him for the info and headed out. I will definitely be keeping an eye on the weather the next two weeks.
So the anit-chafe… Im chaffed in an area I have never had chaffing before (children, please skip ahead to the next paragraph). My taint is chaffed! Fortunately it’s not ‘that’ bad, but there is definitely a reminder to put some anti-chafe frequently in the nether region. Hopefully this heals quickly, as it is very uncomfortavble.
From there I headed over to the lodge to pick up my resupply box. It was a simply process. He handed my my box, I handed him 5 bucks.
Now I know Ive said I havent been hungry. Well I havent. At all. In my pack I had roughly half the food I started with at the vorder. And my resupply box? Loaded with food. I ended up giving about half my food to Lets Party, as she is resupplying as she goes. She was grateful. The one downside to resupply, your pack weight increases. No Bueno.
Toward the end of my time in town, I started to feel really weird physically. It felt as if I had a low frequency vibraion in my body. It also felt as if my pulse was a little elevated.
I could understand my pulse being elevated. For one Mt Laguna is at 6000 feet. Two, I had put in three days of relatively strenuous activity. But the low frequency vibration had me a little freaked out. I downed a couple liters of water, chocked up my physical maladies as the elevation and hit the trail. Fortunately the vast majority of my mileage was a very moderate downhill. Easy on the lungs and muscles, but somewhat brutal on the feet. After hiking for an hour I began to feel better. I believe elevation and dehydration were the culprits
From a blisters perspective, they have remained mostly unchanged or healing, with the exception of the one on my right heel. It grew a bit today, and became slightly painful later this afternoon.
It was a rather strange sequence of events today, but I did get 16ish miles in the books.
Emotionally today was very challenging. I miss my cotton crew. I miss my husband and Austin, Simon and Chris. I think today was particularly difficult because its the weekend. I tried not to dwell to much and think about other things, but it was definitely a challenging day.
Tonight I hiked to nearly dark and snagged a great sunset photo. The downside is I was setting up my tent in fading light and in gusty winds. I few choice profane phrases may have been uttered by yours truly. Also tonight is the first night I will be camping alone.
As Lets Party and I left Mt Laguna, it wasn’t long before I was out of her sight. I wonder if I will see her again. Shes a cool lady.
Im off to slumber. As always, your comments are always welcome.
From the PCT, Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.