Mile 33.57 to 52.51 — Long Valley Creek to Pioneer Mail Rest Area
Getting out of the tent was painful! My body is stiff and walking hurts my feet. But, I need to get going and as an incentive there may be cold drinks at the store in Mt. Laguna!
Mount Laguna is at 6,000 feet elevation and is topped with a forest of pine trees. It was great to be hiking there. Indeed there were cold drinks but it was too early for beer, so Dr Pepper and BBQ potato chips was second breakfast. First breakfast was a single poptart.
The pine trees disappeared all too soon as we descended the north side of Mt Laguna. We left just in time as the local fire crew started a controlled burn. Let’s hope it stays controlled! (It did)
We turn a corner and are met with an awesome view of the lower desert and the snow capped mountains beyond. We are headed to those mountains! The snow covered one on the right is Mt. San Jacinto at 10,000 feet, the snowy ones in back and to the left are Mt. San Gorgonio and the Big Bear Mountains. The Saltin Sea is the blue area way back on the right. Not sure you can see all that in this photo.
We hiked up and down through low desert scrub (read: no shade). Luckily I brought my own shade — a “chrome-dome” lightweight umbrella:
I am sooooo glad I had this! It made a world of difference. Note that it attached to my pack and so hands free! I also note that I have quite a beer belly 😩.
Just when we were exhausted we came upon the Pioneer Mail Picnic and Rest Area. The weather report looked good and there were zero clouds so I decided to cowboy camp here (no tent). I did see and kill one mosquito, so I slept with my mosquito netting.
Two other PCTers arrived late and also setup here for the night. I can only imagine how busy this will be in a few weeks when the main hiker herd passes through.
Thanks for reading!