Day 3: First Musings

Memories from April 23

I made it from the Mount Laguna Camp Ground to the Rodriguez Fire Tank about 20 miles away today. I started at 4:00am and enjoyed sunrise along a traverse over the desert valley we’d seen the day before. Unfortunately my camera stopped being able to focus so it’s just dead weight. I kill cameras so quickly.

I didn’t see any other hikers during the morning as the trail continued away from the harsh dessert to a slightly greener covering of bushes between waist and shoulder height. I’d been in reflective as tends to happens on morning solo hikes and decided to start a new section of my notebook called “musings”. I’ve never been one to journal but a good overlook can be inspiring. The grandiose end of my sophomoric personal inquiry as captured in that notebook seems to be that I enjoy diversity as long as I can find common ground. You know, because we didn’t learn that in elementary school.

A little after 11am I got to the Sunrise Spring trailhead where most of my dinner company from the night before was planning on stopping. I rested in the shade if the trailhead outhouse because when something is the only option it’s better than the alternative and dried gear which was damp. I know I have good, thick socks because of how long they took to dry.

Eventually other hikers started arriving and I went to filter water from the trough with them. My filter jammed or something because the flow is incredibly slow. Kelley tried to get me named Fresh again. She was nice about it but things started gathering steam when Lucas jovially pointed out that when someone declines a trailname, that’s when you call them it. I left for the Rodriguez Spur Fire tank.

I only got a far as the trailhead when I ran into Cita who told me a local had told her the next 32 miles were waterless. I’d seen a warning about that after the Rodriguez Spur fire tank but went back and got an extra two liters so I could get to Scissors Crossing and hitch to town if necessary.

I’d assumed the 8 miles to Rodriguez Fire Tank were downhill but they were all actually downhill then over another hill. I was hoping to make it over the sand and past the cactus in one stretch but had to eat something 2.5 miles out and dragged myself in in a sorry state.

There was a trio if ladies on a weekend trip at the fire tank. I filtered two liters and set up to cowboy camp at respectful distance. Then Zuccini came rolling in, dropped her pack and was sitting on her Z-Rest eating penutbutter in like 60 seconds. Zucchini is a 19 year old ski instructor who finished the Appalachian Trail in November and is hiking the PCT before starting college in the fall. In another few minutes she’d struck up a conversation which managed to include the entire campsite.

As the sun was setting when John pulled up. He and Zuccini had met at some point and he set down for his first cowboy camping ever by her. Zuccini was heading into Julien from Scissors Crossing and John was going on. We decided to hike out together the next morning and I’d go with John if there was water at the cache. I’m trying to get over my water insecurity and Zucchini says she packs 1 liter for every five miles so I figured I’d give that a try.

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