We woke at 4am to make an early push out because we knew the climb out of Hauser Creek was going to be tough if we were caught in the sun. Night hiking by moonlight is always so magical. The stars were still out and we saw the moon set over the horizon and sun rise from the east. We saw our first mini tarantula and it was terrifying. The morning light and temperature was just perfection. As we entered into Hauser Creek, it was so beautiful. Tall green grass everywhere aka tick central. We saw a bunch of campers and moved on to start our climb. The incline was long but moderate. I loved it. The rocks started turning red and there were desert flowers everywhere. We were able to climb most of the entire part in the shade, PTL. I can't imagine having to do that part during the hottest part of the day.
I noticed something about my sciatica: for some reason, I feel little to no pain when I have my pack on and am going uphill. But I feel it the worst when I am descending or just walking normal without a pack. It's so interesting that my pain has worked out this way.
We ran into this couple from Texas named Nate and Megs. She had recognized me from the REI blog and also worked for them. And Nate is a photographer/videographer, so we all immediately connected right now. I do think the most exciting part of each day is probably meeting someone or running into someone we've met already. The last two miles into Lake Morena seemed like forever, but we reached the campground at around 11am and it felt awesome. We decided to camp there and wait for AA's that night.
We saw Jackie and Mike over by the bathrooms and they graciously let me use some of their soap for a shower. I paid for my camp site and got some quarters for the shower. $1 for 8 minutes was just what I needed. It's good to know how long I actually need to get rinsed. I had wondered why I was taking a shower at day two already but everyone was doing it so I did too. I rinsed all my clothes and set them to dry all over the pavement.
For the rest the day, we just laid in the shade and chatted with so many different hikers. There were a million bugs on everything and I just couldn't sit still. Like little red chiggers everywhere. We saw our first tick on the trail from Mike and he decided Jenny's trail name was Tick, because she was my tick checker but had no clue what they looked like.
We finally set up our camp. I was socially drained by the afternoon. I hadn't any alone time all day but finally got to just sit in my tent for a bit and now I am writing my blog. I am not sure if I plan to type daily or just write about highlights between each resupply but we shall see.
My back was hurting eally bad from walking back and forth so I couldn't work up enough strength to walk into town. So Jenny went in and got herself some shampoo and got me some chips and baby powder. It was just what I needed. I noticed I just hated having damp arm pits and crotch (sorry, TMI). So hopefully this will make me feel better. Tonight is also Jenny's last night on the trail. I am SO proud of her and grateful that she took the time out to hike with me and got to experience first hand what thru-hiking is all about. I think she really enjoyed the whole lifestyle of it all and talking to so many people. Not a lot of friends would sacrifice this for me but she did. I'm hoping she'll want to come out again on the trail this summer and meet up again for a longer section so we can hitch and do towns together.
Amanda and Aubs came out later and we got to hang out and catch them up on our last two days for a little bit before be. Another big day in the morning.