Day Four

Today's miles: 11
Total miles: 47

After yesterday's mental challenge, today was much better. Katie and I got up at 5 am and we were on the trail by 6. We spent the day leapfrogging with four hikers we've been hiking with recently: Tony the Canadian, Don, and brothers Jesse and Zachary.

By 9 am we made it the six miles into Mt Laguna, at 6,000 feet. It was glorious to be near civilization: we ate breakfast at a diner, bought resupply dinners for the next few days, and spent the hottest part of the afternoon in the shade of the general store porch. Everyone in town is so hiker friendly, and it's fun meeting and greeting everyone. Katie and I hung out with Tony, Jesse and Zachary on the porch, airing our hurting feet and eating a whole jar of Nutella in 20 minutes while the boys had farting contests.

We spent the hottest part of the day in the shade, then hiked another five miles to a campground just past Mt Laguna. The views along the way were stunning, looking down at vast, open stretches of desert from our perch at the top of the rolling mountains. Tony, Zachary and Jesse caught up to us, and we took pictures of the view, commenting on how menacing the impending desert looked.
"Like Mordor," I suggested.
"Except less inviting," agreed Tony.

We were feeling good enough to hike another five miles, but we were wary about the availability of camp spots, and the campground looked so inviting. So we opted to stay, which turned out to be a good choice because there were 20 other friendly hikers there, and free showers to enjoy. After being constantly covered in dust and dirt from the trail, a shower was glorious.