In anticipation of lots of elevation gain today, I got going extra early. Neighbor Mike came over and chatted while I packed and ate granola and yogurt. Mike just finished riding his motorcycle to the four corners of the US. The 18-mile ride to Potrero tested my mettle with several stiff climbs. By the time I reached town, my stomach demanded more food. It got a quart of chocolate milk. Onward and upward for 10 more miles to Campo and hopefully more food. On the way, I got water from guys in a utility crew. A mile north of Campo, I scored a breakfast burrito, ate most of it immediately, and saved the rest for lunch. The climbing continued relentlessly for 15 miles to Interstate 8. Just before I got there, I passed through a Border Patrol checkpoint. I’ve seen many Border Patrol vehicles and helicopters hunting for illegal immigrants. After I crossed over I-8, I ate the rest of my burrito in a scrap of shade by Sunrise Highway. I had a quart of water to get me up another 8 miles of stiff climbing. Would it be enough? I stopped frequently for one-minute breaks and sips of water. About 2 miles from the top, I asked a guy getting in his car at a trailhead in a pine forest (see photo) if he could give me some water. He seemed a bit peeved but gave me a quart of Gatorade. Yes! Well hydrated I reached the top at Mt. Laguna and started down gently. I bought food at the Mt. Laguna Store, where I picked up a food box when I hiked the PCT in 2013. Onward and downward for 4 miles to the US Forest Service Laguna Campground. I got a delightful site under towering pines. A short day mileage wise (56) but I gained 6,000 feet of elevation. I feel more confident that I can handle the big climbs.