Day 3: Of Pine Cones and Drones

April 17th
Total Mileage: 52.6
Today’s Mileage: 20.6  (Fred Canyon(32mi) – Pioneer Mail Picnic Area(52.6mi))

Around Mile 50

At the time of this entry, we’re at Mile 42 on the trail. It is still quite early in the day, but we decided to have a coffee and take a rest at a little cafe in Mt. Laguna. Last night, we cowboy camped and the temperatures dropped close to freezing. I only got about a single hour of sleep again, unfortunately. This time due to just being way too cold. I think the quilt I made is a bust, lol. I had it securely tucked around me, but felt extreme cold in specific regions. I need to check it today and see if more down needs to be pushed into other portions of the quilt (karo steps). At this point, I’m pretty certain I need to buy a Zpacks or similar alternative bag at kickoff.

The 6 miles we did this morning was beautiful, meandering up to 6,000 ft through a copse of pine trees. It is surreal to go from desert lowlands to pine trees within only a day. The trail is already littered with cones. We reached this town early in the day, and experienced our first resupply of buying in a local store. It was quite expensive. I spent around $34 for three days worth of food. The Idahoan potatoes that we bought for $.80 at WinCo are $3 here. At times, it feels more than just a fair mark-up for the remoteness and straight-out price gauging.

Mt Laguna resupply

Unfortunately, Mike’s knee is doing extremely poorly. It sounds like it is inflammed from repeated stress, originating with a soccer injury long ago. A helpful stranger highly advised us to reduce our mileage and take 15 minute breaks after every hour of hiking. I think we’ll reduce the next couple days significantly and see how it goes. We did that heavy mileage the first day mostly because it was a dry stretch, but now there appears to be plenty of water every 6 miles or so on trail.

One interesting note: last night, as we were staring up at the Universe, a very bizarre thing happened. Three aircraft flew right over us, and they were likely advanced military. They had an unconventional sound…maybe like a vacuum? My best guess is that perhaps they are the stealth choppers that were used in Pakistan a few years ago, or likely large drones. They didn’t have the typical helicopter wub-wub-wub rotor sound, but they weren’t moving at the speed of planes. They were all dark from the front, but we saw red-green lights on the backside, and the last plane had a different red light and felt like a chaser plane, that was perhaps recording data, or something of that sort. It was cool to witness… very strange.

Stay tuned, sports fans. We’re not on the ropes yet.

Day 3 vista rocks jutting

Day 3 vista

Typical trail  Large pine cone at horse trough




7 thoughts on “Day 3: Of Pine Cones and Drones”

  1. Really sucks about the quilt. You know you could always rely on a true and tested method of staying warm at night. I mean what is a little cuddling between friends Haha.
    Worse case scenario a couple of pilots flying in those stealth choppers see you.

  2. I am glad to see the photo quality from your phone is so high! You are doing a great job of documenting. Keep it up! Sorry for joining party so late. I am here now though :).

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