Today was definitely everything I hoped. Cooler weather and an early start had me ing out the miles. Even with the constant climb, I found myself covering the 10 miles to Mt. Laguna before 10AM. A note was left there from Kevin verified that he had stayed there, but I probably won’t see him before Warner Springs. Capitalizing on my pace, I kicked out another 5 miles to total 15m by noon – something I was only rarely able to do on the AT.
As I climbed in elevation, the vegetation and climate changed. The scrub brush and cacti were replaced by more familiar grasses and trees. The winds picked up and became cooler as well; a welcome relief to the heat of the last 2 days.
As I left Mt. Laguna behind, the desert plants returned – but the weather stayed. As I traversed a ridge all afternoon, the winds kept increasing and the temperature kept dropping. Still stuck on the same ridge at dusk, I decided to make camp in the flattest spot I could find. The gale force winds made setting up my tarp extremely difficult – I could no more get one stake set when a gust would rip the tarp out of my hands and act like a giant kite. Oh – and the spitting rain didn’t really help either. I hope I can actually get some sleep in all this!