The trail in Southern California glitters. The trail dust even glitters on my dirty toes. But, as JRR Tolkien reminds us, “Not all that glitters is gold.”
We take our time leaving Lake Morena. I’ve taken to calling us Team No Hurries.
April 20, 2012
We take a break under the Cottonwood Creek bridge. We cool our feet in the water. Blaze says Dad looks like he’s wondering why he’s here. I don’t have an answer for her.
I think about all the cliché responses – life event, adventure, to see if I can do it, midlife course correction, etc. But none of these seem to apply anymore. And it’s only been three days. I tell them it’s because there’s no money for a plane ticket back to home in Malaysia yet. I’m joking. I think.
A sign says to please not write on the bridge pylons. The pylons appear to be recently painted or repainted. Just about everyone we’ve met so far has written their trail names there anyway.
With creek cooled feet and dry socks we continue. Only to have to wade a channel of the creek that’s too wide to jump. So much for dry feet. First creek crossing.
We eat and take a long siesta at Boulder Oak Campground. It’s hot out. I leave first late in the afternoon and roust a rattlesnake shortly after crossing the highway. That makes two so far.
The ascent to Mt. Laguna begins. My lofty thought of the day is about how to survive hiking up these Southern California hills and mountains. Trudge along to a switchback, relatively flat spot of trail, or semblance of shade. Stop. Breathe, drink water, mop sweat off brow, adjust pack. Repeat.
We walk above Kitchen Creek. Lovely, gurgling, creek. But we’re too tired to attempt the steep descent down to it. Natalie and I drop packs and take a break at the Kitchen Creek Trail junction. Blaze was suppose to wait for us here. Natalie finds her part way down to the creek and carries her pack back up for her. Apparently, she was a little bit geographically confused. We hike on and make camp as it gets dark.