Day 4 (April 11): PCT Mile 36.1 – 48.0

Mount Laguna and the Dumb Tentsite

Today we made it on the trail at 6:30. Quickly we realized that we underestimated the coldness of the morning or rather it seemed to be getting colder as we descended. Rather than dig through our packs to find warmer gear we opted to wait it out until we got into the sun. Our fingers were quite numb for about the first hour. We theorized that the cool air seemed to settle into the valley and indeed we ended up seeing some small icicles in the stream we crossed…

After crossing over, we began climbing and saw our first pine tree of the trail. Soon, they were all over…

We stopped and had our breakfast in this forest on a pile of boulders. It was very different from what we’d seen thus far on the trail, which was a nice interesting change. The change was likely due to the elevation since we were around 6,000 feet at this point.

We continued on our way until we reached the cut off point towards the small “town” of Mount Laguna. Taking the side trail, we passed through a campground, which was mostly empty except for PCT hikers that were stopping to use the restrooms. We chatted a bit with a hiker named Enno who we hadn’t seen since our stay at Scout and Frodo’s, then continued onward.

Mount Laguna consists of two lodges, a small store, a post office, and a restaurant. Our first stop was Mount Laguna Lodge and Store where we had shipped our first resupply package to (better hours than the post office). We walked up around 10:30 or so and found several hikers relaxing on their front porch. We went in, got our package no problem (which released a little anxiety I was carrying), and then went out to sort through stuff. Dad got a Coke too of course, Gatorade for me. They also let us charge our phones and my battery pack. These guys were very welcoming!

So, when researching, I had read that folks tend to pack too much food in the beginning and have to leave it behind. We were those people big time. Not only did we have a lot of leftover food from our first 4 day supply, but our new resupply was massive 😬.

So…we rethought our strategy and took out only what we thought we needed, then ended up shipping a package back home with the extra as well as a lot of gear we realized we never really needed. It ended up being an 8lb package. Dad even got to share some of his homemade delicacies with some of our fellow hikers.

Finally, we wrapped up over by the store and post office and ventured down the road to the Pine House Restaurant. The place had 17 other hikers that I counted and one hiker dog (a golden retriever that looked like Shadow from Homeward Bound). We both got a BBQ chicken sandwich that was very tasty and very filling!

After lunch, we made our way back to the campground and used their coin-operated showers! Our stink levels were getting pretty high and it felt rather refreshing to clean up! After showering, we got our water filled up and packs on to get on trail again. We felt the huge weight difference between when we arrived to when leaving with full food and water, not impressed.

At 2:30pm, we were hiking again. There were some spectacular views in this next stretch (not sure how the panorama shot will work on here)…With the views though came some crazy strong wind! Dave H even went as far as to say it’s the strongest winds he’s been out in.It was fun at first, but then we struggled to find a tent site that was blocked from it. We ended up doing 12 miles today even with our 4 hour stop in town, mainly because we kept going to try and fine a decent spot.In the end, since our feet were hurting and we were rather fatigued in general, we set up in a really horrible spot. We were protected from the wind somewhat, which was our main goal, but also close to the road and both tents we’re on some serious slope and surrounded by prickly bushes. The wind was still bad enough that we ended up cooking our dinner right from within our tents inside the little vestibule.An even earlier night than it’s been. It’s possible we’re not even supposed to camp here too, so we hope to be out of here quick in the morning.

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