May 04, 2016
Hauser Creek(15.4) to Boulder Oaks Campground(26.0) 10.6 miles
Elevation profile curtesy of Guthook App
Star Wars Day it is. All day last year speak like Yoda I did. This year I shall not. Too tired I am.
I slept surprising well last night. This year it is not possible to use a hammock and I wasn't very confident that I would sleep well on the ground. Also, surprisingly, I wasn't too sore when I got up this morning. Since it is so hot out during the day I woke up really early to make the best out of the cool morning. I was hiking by 6:30 and had my first real climb of the trail. There were a lot of switchbacks so it wasn't terrible. I had way too much water leftover in the morning so I gave away 2L to a group of hikers that really needed it.
After a little less than 5 miles I made it to Lake Morena. I was feeling much more confident than yesterday. Day 1 was pretty demoralizing. I questioned why I was putting myself through another thru-hike and if I could make it 2,650 miles. What I didn't understand was carrying 7L of water just plain sucks. I only had to carry 2L today and felt like I was floating down the trail.
Lake Morena has an awesome restaurant/convenience store. I was able to get a breakfast burrito the size of a new born and a cold Gatorade. It was heavenly. While I was there I met up with a few of the other hikers that I flip flopped with yesterday. All 5 of us have previously hiked the AT. Brian hiked it in 2013, Shawn in 2014, Chef and Hawk Bait in 2004. It was great to talk to people that have hiked it before. Two of the overnight hikers I camped with last night were also at the store. I wish they were thru hiking. I really enjoyed their company. One of the ladies really saved me by giving me her Chapstick. Somehow I overlooked that when I was packing for the trip and I desperately needed some.
Liquor store/malt shop/restaurant/ convenience store. One stop shopping
The rest of us waited out the heat of the day at the store and at the campground close to the lake. I haven't really gotten use to hanging out for 3-4 hrs. I just can't sit still, I want to be on the trail. Unfortunately, it is just too hot to hike during the day. Brian and I headed out just before 3. It was still really hot out, but we both have hiking umbrellas and wanted to see how they worked. It's not a miracle cure, but they definitely make the heat tolerable. Since we were camping at a reliable water source tonight I only carried a few liters of water. The trail was really flat and I practically flew along the trail. We made it to camp in a little over 2 hours. To make things even better the camp spots are flat, have picnic tables, bathrooms with toilet paper, and a water spigot. This day just keeps getting better and better.
Tomorrow looks like another challenging day. I'm still figuring out how to overcome the obstacles the pct has in store for me.
Life is unpredictable,
It changes with the seasons
Even your coldest winter,
Happens for the best of reasons,
And though it feels eternal,
Like all you'll ever do is freeze,
I promise spring is coming,
And with it, brand new leaves
- Ernest Hemingway