Pyrenees, the French guy whom I trail named, decided to camp right next to the picnic table. And he sleeps in his underwear. And he doesn't bother to put on clothes inside his tent. As I'm boiling water, out pops a pasty, white bearded and white pelted frog. I will use that derogatory term any chance I get when referring to him. He fulfills every negative french stereotype.
Tennessee and I started up the road behind her impatient son, and it took me a couple miles to catch him. I continued, catching up to Bird Man soon after, and had a great conversation with him about biology, society and Pyrenees, whom Bird Man also did not like. I identified some plants for him (he was unfamiliar with the local flora, also being from Tennessee). Later I met his patiently waiting trail buddy, whom I secretly call Alcatraz. It just fits.
Everyone was planning on stopping in Laguna, splitting rent on a couple of rooms at the lodge. I went in to the oufitter shop, bought batteries and blister bandages, and was not impressed with the little tourist trap; plus, I really wanted more than 10 miles, so I said my goodbyes and walked 5 more miles to Big Laguna campground, which had pay showers. By the time I got here, it was nearly dark. I ate what the package blithely calls 8 servings of rehydrated soup, showered, and am about to pass out.
From the manzanita scrub and occasional ponderosa tipped hilltop just before Big Laguna, there was a stunning view of Anza Borrego. Desert for me, tomorrow. There is an upcoming stretch of possibly 34 miles with no water. Guess I'm loading up.