PCT Day 2: Mt Laguna

April 23

Mile 32.0-59.8 (27.8)

An hour after we make camp, the bright moon crests the hill and shines on us like a spotlight. Good thing we are so tired, we sleep like babies. I wake once to find a damp mist passing over us, as if we are suddenly in a cloud. By morning, the sky is clear again.

Feeling a little sore but mostly good. We pass hikers in varying stages of breaking camp. On the trail there is a steady stream of trail runners who look cheerful and well rested.

We’re aiming to get to the Mt Laguna PO before it closes at 11 to send some things away, and we do. Spider buys Doritos and half-and-half from the store and we sit outside in the shade eating snacks with McG, Brianna, and Tommy Lee Jones. Another hiker arrives with his shorts hanging halfway down his ass so I give him the trail name Coin Slot. He seems good natured and his friends tell him to keep it.

Soon we are back on the trail cranking about the 6-7 miles to our next water source. It goes by quickly, flat-ish and lightly forested. We take an hour lunch break at the spigot and are lounging in the shade when McG and Dave and Sylvie roll up, so we chat for a bit before we are off again. 

It’s 3pm and warm, and there isn’t much shade. It’s nice to sweat when there is a slight breeze, and I’ve got caffeine pumping through my veins, so we cruise. The trails moves out into mountains. We hike their contours and stare out through the haze at their cousins.


We reach Sunrise Trailhead, the last water source before Julian, at 6:30pm. The grassy field by the water tank is full of tents and hikers eating dinner. We chat with Mike while we fill up, and we consider staying, but hike on a little to a sandy spot off the trail. The sun has just disappeared below the horizon and we set up for cowboy camping, eating our tasty cold-soaked rice and beans and veggies, cozy in our dry lofty sleeping bags. It is windy and quiet save faint birdsong and the sound of us chewing.

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