We wanted to hike 21.5 miles to Mount Laguna. Instead we nearly died. This desert is no joke. Story time! Apparently, getting water in a desert requires some planning. Therefore PCT hikers use a Google sheet to keep an up to date report on where reliable water sources are. My hiking companion had a printed version. Very thoughtful if you read the numbers correctly. At mile 32.6 there was no water to be found near the trail.
There was some at a camping ground quite some miles off trail. Too many miles. And we were almost out. We desperately needed water though soon in this scorching desert heat. Hike back 2.7 miles downhill to the previous source or hike on 4.1 miles uphill. There was no cell signal to call an Uber either to take us to the campground as there was a dirt road nearby. We decided to backtrack 2.7 miles. What's another 5.4 miles when you are hiking all the way to Canada.
Long story short, we made it back and lived happily ever after. I'm ok mom! Later we were told the camping ground was actually only .8 miles off trail instead of 8 to 10 miles. I blame the imperial system. From now on I will check the water report for each stretch and write down all reliable sources in my little notebook before hiking out in the morning.
Because of this little side quest I had no intention anymore to make it to Mount Laguna that day. Instead I camped at mile 37 with the intention of getting a good long sleep and hiking into Laguna by the time the tavern opens to get some good breakfast.