I eased off to a late start this morning after a stack of blueberry pancakes in Mount Laguna (per the waitress: “you want to lick the plate?”). I have one more rendezvous with my dad at Warner Springs, 68 miles farther on, in four days. That means the pressure’s off, so I can take the rest of this week a bit easier as I get used to the trail, and I spent this afternoon meandering 12.9 miles along a spectacular rim overlooking the Mojave desert.
Good thing, because my pack this morning weighed in at 35 pounds with four days of food and four liters of water. That’s probably about as heavy as it’s going to get this summer.
After chatting with a dirtbiker named Montana and a guy watering a tree planted on his best friend’s ashes, I set camp on a beautiful boulder field looking north across the mountains. Apparently some people believe the world will end today; maybe it’s an evening apocalypse? In that case, I’m going out with a sachet of reconstituted noodles and chicken. Yum.