​Day 5: Mt. Laguna to mile 55.9

Today was a really amazing day.

I was feeling slightly anxious before leaving our room in Mt. Laguna, mainly I think because I was just sitting around for too long.

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I’m happy I left when I did though (9 am) because I ran into some super cool hikers who had double-zeroed in Laguna and ended up hiking with them all day! They were all much older than me, but we walked at the same pace and it was really fun getting to know them and meet new people. One of the guys, Jim, is from the Bay Area and was even born in the same hospital as me! What a small world.

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They kept things super entertaining and we took a lot of pictures of the scenery and together, sang some songs, and talked about the trail and stuff. It was the first day I didn’t feel homesick or cry, and I think I owe a lot of that to them! I think I like hiking with people more than by myself at this point.

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The scenery today was absolutely incredible too. The desert just completely opened up to us and we had amazing views the whole day. We even saw the Salton Sea way off in the distance! Words honestly just can’t describe how beautiful it was.

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We got water today at mile 52.5 and it’s the last water source until scissors crossing at mile 77. Another 24ish mile carry. I’m not too concerned- I took 6 L of water which I think will be fine. I’ve been drinking about 1 L every 5 miles, so I got an extra liter to use for cold soaking & cleaning which should be plenty. My pack was so much heavier when I put all the water in it, but it didn’t hurt, which is good!

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I’m also cowboy camping (sleeping without my tent) for the first time (since Girl Scouts rally day) and I’m excited/ nervous. My view is incredible and we’re in this super cool boulder field. I kinda had to cowboy since the place were camped doesn’t have a lot of room & it’s slightly windy and my stakes would probably pull out of the ground. I do like the ZPacks Duplex but the convenience of a freestanding or semi-freestanding tent would be nice. But anyways, I put on my baselayers, sleep socks, wind pants, puffy, rain jacket, and gloves! Hopefully I’ll be warm but not too hot. The sunset was also just so incredible tonight. So much alpenglow!

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Today also marks the day we passed 50 miles on the PCT and it’s officially my longest backpacking trip! Many milestones were made today, and I can’t wait to hit 1 week on trail and get to Julian!

(13.3 miles)

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