Day 3: Lake Morena to mile 37.2
Last night before bed was nice. Many more hikers came in, mostly people who did campo-lake morena in one day. It was nice meeting more people who are doing the trail. I also fell asleep so much faster - I think I dozed off before 9 pm!
Started today off slower than yesterday. I was much colder in the morning too, probably because the lake is in a valley. It’s so true, the cold air really does settle in there! I finally got started hiking at 7:15. The trail was pretty easy all the way to Boulder Oaks. I saw more bunnies and lots of lizards and lots of flowers. I also saw my first snake which was slightly startling because I was not paying attention to where I was walking. It wasn’t a rattlesnake and it slithered away in the tall grass but it spooked me. I also started using my umbrella today bc it was really hot on the stretch to boulder oaks from cottonwood creek.
I haven’t really been hiking with anyone. I either leave before them and then don’t see them again or leave after them and never catch up. I’m not walking too fast either, about 2-2.5 mph including small rest breaks. I met a few more hikers, mostly section hikers who were really fun to talk with. I finally ran into the gals I met & camped with on day 1 at the spur to kitchen creek and we decided that we’d camp around mile 37. I didn’t need anymore water so I skipped the detour to the creek but it was really pretty! I took a break at mile 32 and then another short one at 34. I got to camp around 6 and saw that we’d have to split off since a lot of people decided to camp here. I’m camping in a spot with a man named Neil who has quite a life story! I quickly set up camp, got water, made dinner (my most hiker-trash meal yet: sweet & spicy tuna packet w a packet of mayo on a tortilla), started cold soaking my breakfast, went to the bathroom and now just writing in my quilt!
I haven’t really been taking pics with my Sony yet. I’m not sure if I should just send it home, but I’ll probably hang onto it for a little while longer. I was homesick again for the first part of today. It marks three days in a row I’ve cried bc I miss my parents, especially my backpacking buddy (Mom). I felt a lot better in the afternoon though. I think I just need to see more people during the day and it will make me feel a little better. And just knowing the people I’m around. My thigh chafe has been manageable. I bought Vaseline from the store in lake morena which is much better than the body glide, and really nice to put on before bed.
Today was my longest day - 17.2 miles! I felt pretty good during the day, my achilles on my left foot was a little sore during the descent to camp, but we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. It’s hard making decisions out here sometimes. I wanted to start slower, but in today’s case, I would have gotten to camp around 3, and it was almost a mile detour off trail and downhill 500 ft. By pushing a little further, I got a nice campsite by a creek and have so much less mileage to do to mt Laguna tomorrow. So I can actually probably nearo (near-zero day: hike little mileage) there. We’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow after today’s push. (17.2 miles)