Day 4: Mount Laguna
The PCT and I, right now, are not getting along. I’m mad at it. And everything hurts.
Yesterday when the sun dipped at about 4, a fierce wind started. I immediately got cold–like, teeth-chattering cold. How bizarre is that? I set up my tent at about mile 36–just in a sheltered spot off the trail– and for the first time I needed my warm base layer. Coldest night yet. Thirties, I think, plus that wind.
I woke up at 4 and the inside of the tent was soaked with condensation. Blah. I mopped up and packed up and hiked with the headlamp for the first hour. It’s pretty easy to do! Then again, the moon over the desert was foll and silver and gorgeous.
Then I hoofed the seven miles into my first trail town. Mount Laguna! I needed to replace some food. My body just isn’t tolerating my east coast diet. I need aome stuff that’s easier to digest. So I tossed some nuts and got peanut butter, and a few other things. I ate a HUGE breakfast in town, then headed out.
And I freaking fell again. Tore the scab off my knee and made a whole new one. That meant I had to waste water washing it–leaving me with a liter to get 4 or 5 miles. It’s breezy today, and cooler…but the sun, the sun.
It’s disheartening, the freaking injuries and low mileage. But I think I’ll get better as my body shapes up. Whether it’s enough to get to Canda is… well, I wouldn’t place any bets. Still, I’m fairly sure I wasn’t at mile 47.5 on day 4 of the AT. And that’s with injuries. And I avoided one town vortex where people are staying overnight.
But get this! I met a couple last night, an older guy (70s?) and his wife. They started a while back. They made eight miles on day 1, then he had a medical emergency. He was dehydrated, and the dehydration turned his medication toxic. They called SAR and got airlifted out. He was already in renal failure. They put him in an induced coma for days, then he spent 10 days in the hospital… then the doctors said he could hike if he wanted. So they’re doing 4 miles per day, carrying 2 gallons of water in an old external fram pack. Chutzpah!
The afternoon was smooth going–sandy soil and an easy path. After the fall I managed another 5 miles, for a total of 11 or 12 for the day. Same as usual.
We’ll see how it goes! I did see an amazing vista today–which reminds one of why one chooses this sort of suffering. As opposed to… you know. Needlepoint.