Climbing – Day 3: Boulder Oaks to Mt Laguna

Miles: 15.6
Tears: 0

Snakes: 2

Rattlesnakes: 0

Started off bright and early at 530 this morning. Our group quickly dispersed. I hiked with Karma and Tommy to start, then Karma got ahead of us, then Tommy and I leapfrogged each other a few times before he powered on ahead of me. The air was cool and breezy and I watched some fog roll in until we were walking in it. 


It was a long day of uphill, but I found it surprisingly pleasant. The doctor seems to have been right and my feet are feeling a lot better. It also helped that I cut open the pinky toe area of my shoe with Alpo’s knife. 

I spent most of the day hiking alone which was lovely. I like knowing there are people around but being able to totally make my own decisions on breaks and pace and such is what I’m used to. Like at lunch I laid down on my tyvek tarp and pulled my umbrella over my face and took a nap and then woke up and ate a hot meal. 


It also means I have fewer stories to tell. But! One of my favorite things about today was that, as I was hiking, I kept seeing little designs made on the trail out of rocks – “U (rock)”, a peace sign, a happy face. I figured someone up the trail had left them days prior for fun, but every time I saw one I felt like it was just for me and it brightened my day. 

Cut to when I got to camp later, Karma says, did you see my messages for you? They really were left for me! Thank you Karma!

I saw two snakes, neither of which were rattlers. One slithered away quickly and the other didn’t want to move from his sunny spot, so I had to get closer to it to make it move along. 


I got to camp with only some gummy bears and jerky left, which means I planned well as far as food, but also meant I had to high tail it to the store to get food for dinner. That’s right – I hiked from 530 to 430 to make 16 miles. Tenacity over speed.

I should also mention my least favorite part of the trail today – warning, poop talk. So far on trail there doesn’t seem to be any kind of routine or even warning system for bowel movements. Every single poop has been a downright emergency. Today there were two emergencies, and I was walking a ridge line the whole day. Made for some very unpleasant walking. I will think twice before taking spicy pasta from a hiker box again. 

Plan for tomorrow isn’t finalized yet, but I think I’m gonna try for a shower and I have other chores to do, so it’ll be a late start for me. It’s supposed to be pretty mellow terrain until Julian. Hopefully my blisters are okay with that. They actually preferred the uphill today.

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8 thoughts on “Climbing – Day 3: Boulder Oaks to Mt Laguna

      1. There are more men but not my much, at least in the groups I’ve been seeing. I’ve bumped into a ton of solo women which has been great. Definitely overwhelmingly white out here though.

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  1. Tim DeBell

    Awesome! You go girl! There are people wishing you the best you don’t even know yet, but we feel we know you and are inspired by your persistence. Many walk with you! 😘

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  2. Hey colleen,

    Good job on the first days on the trail! I truh hiked last year and since I live and work in Switzerland and can’t do any trail magic or hang out with hikers of this year which I really would love to, I started looking for some blogs to follow and founds yours.

    I enjoy your writing and am looking forward to read more from your experience. In some points I read my own feeling at that time.

    All the best for the next section to Warner Springs (which is awesome) and enjoy eagle rock 🙂 feel free to ask anything which could help your hike!

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