Fred canyon – tent site
20.6 miles. 2602ft up. 3421ft down.
My hot water bottle made me really cosy and I fell asleep really too early, about 7:30pm. In the middle of the night the wind picked up and it was gusty all the way to morning. I’m sure I woke up every time the wind blew, I could feel it depositing dirt on top of my sleeping bag. When it was time to get up I had little rivers of dirt inside my tent. But the good thing was that it wasn’t cold at all. I even slept with my head out of the bag.
With the early sleep and the wind I was only in a light sleep from about 3am onwards which meant I had some very odd dreams. I was best friends with a bear. We did everything together. We took a stroll into town one day and got in to a fight with a silverback gorilla. The bear of course saved my life but it was an exhausting fight. I hid under a pile of leaves and the gorilla walked right over me. When that fight was over we got attacked by a mountain lion, but as the bear was picking it up, ready to launch it into outer space I asked him to hold it there a sec while I took a photo. When returning to my aunt and uncles house to deliver their bear child back to them I went to show them the pictures I took only to discover the camera app had fallen off my phone and there was just a hole where it should have been. Apparently, according to my long time ago ex-boyfriend that can be fixed for £40.
It was all so WEIRD!!!
Anyway, we start walking into the wind. They are the Santa Ana winds according to the man at the Mt Laguna store. Known locally as Devil Winds. They were pretty strong but only gusty. Gusty is much better than constant.
Although I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere when I set off last year, I now realise that I wasn’t. We cross a few roads, we go under the interstate (basically like walking under the M25). There are camp ground accessible to cars and roads visible from the trail for a lot of the way. And we start to see the ugly urban areas.
There are a few people out and about today because it’s Thanksgiving. One of the biggest holidays in America. I get to Boulder Oaks campground, there should be water here but I didn’t need any. I use the outhouse. It’s one of those annoying ones where they shove the circular toilet roll onto a wide flat metal bar which means the roll doesn’t roll at all. Why do they do that?!
I wait for Catwater at a picnic table. A coue of women approach me and ask me where the kitchen creek trail is. I tell them I have no idea, that I’m hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. They have no clue what that is, they ask me if there is a waterfall on the trail. No, and I would be surprised if there are any waterfalls around here. Every natural water source we know about is dry. They ask where the PCT goes and I tell them to follow the trail markers. They head off and I think I’ve just sent them to their death. We get the chance to delayer. The winds pick up and everything goes flying. The winds are a pain. Hot in the sun. Cold in the wind.
We make it to Lake Morena campground. There are a lot of people here, RVs, car campers. There is some cooking happening and we hope that someone might invite us to eat with them. A lady approaches us. Yes yes yes, this is it I think. ‘We were told the water is non-potable’ she says. Yeah, we know, thanks.
We fill our water bottles, use the restrooms, chuck away our trash and move on. We descend into Hauser canyon. It’s still hot but nowhere near as hot as it was last year, when I though I would never make it / die in the process. I was looking forward to getting to the bottom and wondering why I thought it was such a hard climb, but I actually thought it was a fairly tough descent! Steep and rocky, the rain had made awkward channels and it was pretty slippery. The sun was intense and I was glad to get into the shade. But within 5 minutes I was cold.
Thankfully the small climb up the other side of the canyon was in the shade and it wasn’t a bad climb. When we reached the first camp spot it was only 3:50pm. I though it was too early to stop and I wanted to go another 2.5 miles so we had less than 10 miles to the border. Catwater wasn’t keen on going on, her feet hurt and she didn’t think she would make it before dark (she would of).
Although I wanted to carry on, the argument for 2.5 miles just wasn’t worth it. It’s the last night and we have come this far, I certainly wasn’t going to carry on without her. I gave the decision to her. She wanted to camp so we camped and that was fine with me. Life is too short to do anything else.
I tried not to lie down too early. I ate the last of my cheese and pringles, I had to slightly force them down as I am a bit over cheese and pringles now. But tomorrow promises all the real food and all the cold delicious soda I can cram in without being sick.
Tomorrow it’s all going to be over.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.