Day 3: Mt. Laguna

April 17, 2017: Hiked Miles 32.0 to 47.8 (15.8 total)

There were over twenty people jam packed into our campsite last night which meant our neighbors were sleeping only a couple feet away. Colton konked out at about 8:30, but I was having trouble falling asleep with all the rustling going on as people tossed and turned in their tents. I finally remembered that I had brought ear plugs and once I popped them in it made all the difference. 

People started getting up around 4:45 to take off but we slept in until about 6:30. Our morning routine of peeing, taking down the tent, cooking breakfast, eating, cleaning dishes, brushing teeth, and packing up took awhile and we weren’t hiking until 8:00. We’re hoping to get better at that and might switch to just eating protein bars in the morning to save a lot of time so we can get on the trail sooner.

We were the last ones out of camp, but soon passed a decent amount of people on the trail. We felt great starting out this morning with our feet getting so much rest and busted out a huge uphill 5.5 mile climb in two hours. 

We took a quick snack/feet break and kept on until we reached the very small mountain town of Mt. Laguna. The trail sign said the town was 1/4 of a mile off the trail so we decided to wander in for a refreshment break. I think the cafe was actually a half mile off the trail so we were desperate for a break when we got there. I never would have throught a half mile could seem so long, but when you’re out here hiking all day, every extra step seems like a chore. We stopped in at the cafe which was packed and paid $6.00 for a coke and ice tea! Best ice tea I’ve ever had, probably because it was the only thing I’ve drank besides water in a couple days. First caffeine I’ve also had for two days. I used to think my body needed coffee to function. Turns out you don’t! If you need to break a habit, come hike the PCT! Pretty hard to be addicted to something you can’t get. 

Someone told us there was free water at the gear store down the road, so after lunch we headed down and sure enough, the same Forest Service employee we had seen on Day 1 at the Southern Terminus giving out advice, was here handing out free water, soda, and beer! We filled up our packs with water and sadly turned down the beer and soda, knowing we still had a bit of a hike today. 

We headed off for a nice 3.5 miles through meadows and pine trees and eventually came upon one of the best views I have ever seen. 

It was one of those views that looks like a painting and made all the aches and pains worth it. It was also windy as hell as we were catching all the updrafts from the valley that was thousands of feet below us, so we yelled and took some pictures, and kept going before we flew off the mountain. 

Around 4:30, we found a little makeshift tentsite a little farther down the trail that overlooks this pristine valley and decided to set up camp. It’s pretty windy but we are on a gorgeous rim of the mountain and will probably have a great sunrise in the morning. 

We popped some more blisters, laughed about how bad Colton’s feet smell, and spent some time laying in our tent relaxing before dinner, enjoying finally having a little extra downtime in the day.

Cooking dinner was a little harder due to the wind and cold, but our view was to die for. 

And then Colton had to pee off the mountain. 

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