Mt. Laguna Lodge(42.6) to Stealth Site(63.6) 21 Miles
I absolutely LOVE this trail. The views are spectacular, but I'm talking about the actual trail. It is beautifully graded. I feel like I'm walking on a road. I only planned on hiking 13-16 miles today, but by 1 I had already hit 16 miles. This trail is built for big mile days. I'm still taking it slow to let my body adjust, but I'm still able to do decent mileage.
When I left the lodge at 6:45 this morning it was 21 degrees with the wind chill. I was very cold for the first few hours. I just tried to keep my head down and keep moving, but when the fog started to blow out I was left with great views.
I walked a ridge line for a lot of miles. It was nice when the trail turned out of the wind, but inevitably it always turned back into the wind. Eventually I just stopped caring that I was cold because of what I was seeing.
It never really warmed up today. When the sun was out and the wind wasn't too bad it felt hot out, although the high today was 51 degrees. In the shade with the wind blowing it was freezing. This isn't exactly how I pictured the desert. I walked for 10 miles before I took my first break. Then I hiked another 6 miles before stopping for lunch. I left the lodge with 1.5L of water. I knew that I wouldn't need much water since it was so cold out. I took my lunch break at the only reliable water source of the day, which was .3 miles off the trail. It was my first time this entire hike that I had to filter water. It came out of a horse trough and the water was green. I packed out 3L so I would have enough to rehydrate myself and cook dinner. My next water source is only 6 miles away tomorrow. I was exhausted after leaving my lunch spot, but I passed up 3 tent sites because it was still so early in the day.
I made it into camp by 4 pm and quickly set up camp. As I was cooking dinner it started to drizzle, but it never did rain. I camped with 12 other hikers and we ate dinner together and chatted until the temperature plummeted. I think this is the earliest I've ever had my blog written, 7 pm. As soon as it gets dark I'll go to sleep. Tomorrow should be another great day. I love this trail!
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.
- Seth Godin