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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mile 53: Slackpackers!

4/2?/2010 (Monday)
Woke up early, bad condensation in the tent. Hiked two miles to get water, nerves wore thin over the water filter. I realize now that it may be bad that all our communal gear other than the pot are mine: tent, filter, and stove. Carmen's good with gear, but the difference in how I do things as they are mine is different from how somebody else may do them as if they were their own. But we chillax and move on.

We finally got into different biomes today! As we headed into the bigger mountains, the drainages were pine forests with Ponderosa pines. It was so exciting every time we left the chaparral for the shaded forest with such soft, springy ground and amazing, relaxing scent. We even came across patches of snow today: most were about one square foot, but I found one big enough to make a snowangel today. It was then and there that I decided no matter how mileage obsessed we become once we magically morph into trail goddesses, we should make sure to do some thing fun every single day.

As my leg hair grows longer and I smell worse and worse, I become more and more convinced that I am manly and don't want to be. Carmen pointed out something reassuringly non-masculine about me when I asked a local-looking man walking his dog at a trail junction about the best way to get to Mt Laguna: I have no fear, and waste no time in asking for directions. If the opportunity to do so presents itself, I figure it's most efficient to do so.

We waited on the porch of Mt Laguna post office and general store for two hours waiting for the noon opening. At least twenty, maybe thirty packs were lined up at 11:50. It was fun hanging out and lounging around with the other hikers with no sense of urgency to get up and move out. Chance told me about two things I want to Google for myself: a Featherlight XL stove, the iPhone app Peaks, and a spreadsheet of PCT places and cell providers to figure out what mountaintops have service. If anybody else feels like doing tha themselves on their big computer screens with fast connections, I would really like the link.

When Carmen retrieved our resupply package (completely unnecessary, the general store had great options), the postmistress congratulated us on our good eye candy and odds. "Sometimes the men just take off their shirts; and they are just so good looking!" Yes ma'am, I am enjoying more than one view. We sent at least half of our granola and trail mix ahead to Idyllwild. It was depressing, the waste of money, and how our packs were once again much heavier.

As we got ready to head out, we ran into Paladin and Anika, who were getting a ride from Hippie Longstockings. She offered to slack-pack our packs to our day's destination, so we threw our packs into the back of her truck, and took two of her daypacks with water and sunscreen for a faster, lighter trip. It was awesome! I hope we got some muscle memory of fast-hiking for when our muscles can handle it. We felt really guilty passing other bikers carrying their packs, and even more embarassed when they passed us. When Hippie picked us up, she took us back to their campsite at Mount Laguna. We ate our own food in order to get rid of the weight, but she fed Paladin and Anika, gave us some turkey to enrich our vegetarian-chheesy-sloppy-Joe-orzo, and just generally took really good care of us. It was fun to hang out, and I look forward to seeing her again when she passes us on her way north.

- Typoed on my iPhone

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