Thursday, May 5, 2016

Day 3- It's Amazing The Difference A Day Can Make

May 05, 2016
Boulder Oaks Campground(26.0) to Mount Laguna(41.5) 15.5 miles

I can't believe how different today was compared to the last two days. The temperature dropped significantly last night and when I woke up this morning it was 40 degrees out and very foggy. I was packed up and hiking by 6:30. I had planned on only hiking 12 miles to give my body more time to adjust to the rigors of hiking in the desert. It was clear very early on that I could actually go farther. The high was only 63 degrees with a very stiff wind. Due to the cooler temperatures I could hike all day long without taking a mid afternoon break. 
Early morning fog

Today's hike was all uphill, but unlike the Appalachian Trail, it was a very gentle grade for most of the day. I gained about 3,000' of elevation, but it was over 14 miles. The trail just wrapped around mountains without feeling the need to summit everyone of them. The first few hours I kept up a 3 mph pace. I slowed slightly after I stopped for a snack break. 
Not a great place to wander off the trail

With the cooler temperatures I was able to carry a normal amount of water, only 2L. With my pack much lighter I hiked 12 miles by 11 am. I took my time for the next 4.5 miles and enjoyed the day.
Laguna Mountains
Typical desert trail. No need to follow blazes
Great place for a lunch break

I ended up making it to the side trail for Mount Laguna by 1 pm. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay in town or do a few more miles after I picked up my resupply package. The weather made my decision for me. The wind picked up to 35-45 mph sustained and 55 mph gusts. The temperature dropped to 23 degrees with the wind chill. After eating lunch at the local tavern, Brian and I, picked up our resupply packages and with a lot of difficulty secured the last room in the only motel in town. We washed our laundry in a small trash can and hung everything on the radiator to dry. It will be nice to have clean clothes tomorrow, but since it's going to rain it probably won't matter. I'm a little concerned about how tomorrow will go. The high is only 48 degrees and thunderstorms are forecasted. The only campsite within my range is on a ridge with nothing to break the wind. I didn't expect this from the desert.

Nothing splendid was ever created in cold blood. Heat is required to forge anything. Every great accomplishment is the story of a flaming heart. Arnold H. Glasow


  1. So happy you are back hiking and posting for our reading pleasure :D How soft is the trail surface in the desert? You haven't mentioned it as being a problem but just wondered from the pictures (which are awesome by the way)

    1. Hally,
      For the most part it is hard packed sand that is similar to walking on a road. There are sections that are loose sand similar to walking on the beach where cars have driven(like Daytona Beach). It hasn't been to bad. My feet definitely ache more at the end of the day. The sandy parts are giving a lot of people blisters, but so far I've been good.
      I upgraded to an iPhone 6s this year and so far I love the picture quality.

    2. Good to hear on the no blisters.What shoes are you wearing?