10.9 miles (11.4 to 22.3)
Nighttime was noisy, with several passes from (what we assumed was) a Border Patrol helicopter, dirt bikes roaming somewhere nearby, and semi-trucks traveling a road that must have been farther away than it seemed.
We woke to rain, which quickly passed, leaving everything damp. Dark clouds lingered low over the mountains as we strapped on our packs and took off down the trail. Down we hiked to Hauser Creek. The creek had a strong flow and a bad taste, but the riparian habitat was in high demand. A Yellow-breasted Chat surprised me by piping up nearby, one of many enthusiastic birds in the chorus.
By the time we’d reached the creek, a small blister had formed on the tip of one of my toes, an odd development, since none of my toes were hitting the end of my shoe. I made a few alterations, including a change of socks, and we set out to tackle the climb out of Hauser Canyon.
Clouds still covered the sky, giving us much appreciated shade on the exposed climb. Partway up, we even received a drizzle. The climb went on and on, continuing even after we thought we’d reached the top, and then taking us higher still. At last we glimpsed Lake Morena far below, and felt as if we’d made some progress.
We stopped for lunch, then made our way down to the campground, where we refilled our water and continued on.
This evening, the clouds have again turned dark. The air smells like rain. The temperature has dropped. We expect to wake up to wet tents again tomorrow morning. Our home for the night is a dry campsite close enough to civilization that we’re forced to listen to barking dogs who won’t shut up. Still, life could be a lot worse. We’re lucky to be out here.
Dad and I both feel good about sticking to low miles for now, letting our bodies adjust to their new jobs without pushing our limits. The foot that I was so worried about is doing well. My only bodily issue is the little blister at the end of my toe. So far, so good.
*More photos on Instagram.