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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

 1st hot spot

1st hot spot

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)