Another not very restful night for me. Only had some cough drops Natalie found in the hiker box. Natalie’s starting to come down with a cold, too.
We walk the half mile into the little town of Mount Laguna and go to the Blue Jay Resort for breakfast. I don’t recommend it. Small portions for the price, not cooked well, not the best service.
We stop at the store. I get my food box and two bottles of cough medicine. One for me and one for Natalie. The girls score some alcohol stove fuel in the hiker box. That saves a few dollars. Nice.
Outside the store, hikers are hanging out. We chat. I say we stayed at the Burnt Rancheria Campground because it has showers, but they aren’t turned on after winter yet and we didn’t even get a discount on the $20 camping fee.
A young woman starts to tell me how to use a Camelbak water bladder as a shower. I sort of interrupt, “A Camelbak is too heavy to carry.” (Which they are by several ounces compared to a Platypus bottle). Which probably came across pretty sharp. Guess I’m just a tired, foot sore, coughing, grumpy hiker.
That afternoon, I meet the same hiker on the trail. I don’t think she remembers that I am the grumpy guy from the morning. She tells me that this is her first experience ever backpacking. Go figure the shower advice.
We walk back to Burnt Rancheria Campground. Natalie and I take our cold medicine. Then we take naps.
We hear a nearby Forest Service campground has showers – Laguna Mountain. So do a number of other hikers. We meet them on the trail (meaning they pass us). We laugh because we can identify the hikers, ourselves included, by the hiker hobble. The peculiar way we walk after taking packs off.
The showers here are also not working. We also don’t get a discount on the camping fee. We don’t complain since we’re sharing a campsite that other hikers already paid for and are basically camping for free.
Natalie creates a foot bath with hot water in a one gallon zip lock bag to which she adds epsom salts she found in the hiker box. What a relief for my blistered feet. We take turns one foot at a time, replenishing the water in between for each person.