Route: Potrero, CA to Wooded Hills Campground, Mt. Laguna, CA
Route Miles: 27
Total Miles: 87
I started the day off with a shower!! Usually they cost money, but the money thing was broken and the ranger said to just go for it. Boom. I’m not that dirty yet, but a shower always feels good after some travels. I managed to be up earlier and out 2 hours sooner than yesterday. It’s still a little later than I’d like, but I’ll figure it out. I headed up the hill and got my first “Right on!! yell from the side of the road, which was awesome until they followed it up with a “That’s a big a** hill!” And it was, but the cheering helped. In Campo, I looked for the Pacific Crest Trail, as that is the official start, but I didn’t see it. I’ll cross it several times though. And I know I’m about 4 weeks behind the hikers. They’ll be seeing me soon 🙂
I found a Subway!! $5 Footlong!! Lunch and Dinner on a budget. Yum. After that the road started to climb again, not a bad grade, just up and up and up on a mostly straight highway. The heat also started to crank up, and the hill got steeper and steeper. Finally I ended up walking a bit as I was tired and the road was covered in broken blue glass bottles. One thing I’ve noticed is that even though there are always Adopt-a-Highway signs every two miles, the roads in California have been pretty trashy. Perhaps this is a side-effect of going by bike, that I notice garbage more than I would in a car. However, it’s a little disheartening. The people more than make up for it though.
I ended up stopping at a border patrol check point and asking to re-fill my water. I wasn’t out, but was uncertain if I wanted to go off-route down hill to a nearby town. The agent lady not only refilled my bottles with cold cold water, but she also gave me some of the border patrol’s concentrated electrolytes called “Sqwuincher” (sp?). I continued on another 1/4 mile, and voila, a fire station with big shady trees. Nap time and lunch. I really like stopping in the heat of the day, it’s a very refreshing habit that has kept my mood up. Inside the fire station restroom there was even a sign from Missoula fire researchers, a little tidbit from home that cheered me. And a firefighter left me with another water bottle and a powerade. People rock. Further up the road (and the hill), a fellow named Sam stopped to chat and ended up giving me 2 nectarines and 3 oranges. Their sweet, juicy freshness was completely worth the extra weight.
I ended the night wild camping on National Forest at Wooded Hills, where it is much cooler and about 6000 feet. I pulled out my leg warmers, only to find some dog hair had come along for the ride, like a little love note from home. I miss my little family! But day 3 ended well under the moonlight.