What Does Bear Spray Feel Like?

Day 3 – 4/14/15
Desert View Picnic Area
Miles –  16.7
Total Miles – 45.2 (PCT 42.6)

Today is a big up day. We have to climb up to Mt Laguna, which is about 12 miles and several thousand feet. We saw our first running water, down in Kitchen Creek. It would have been nice to go down by water but the trail stayed 100 feet above it.
A lot of people are trying to hike the PCT this year and many of them have little to no experience. That means, in a lot of cases, they bring way to much stuff. We see many very large packs. At some point they start to dumping gear. About mid-morning Will found a full bottle of Bear Pepper Spray. He asked if he could spray it. I thought sure why not. I pointed him away from us and he pulled the trigger. It put out an orange mist. He shot it a second time. I took it from him and went over to let Joon give it a try. That is when the wind shifted and I felt burning in my nose. All of a sudden Mama Raven, Will, Joon, and I went running away as fast as we could from the area. Everyone had buying eyes, nose, and throat.  We did a lot of coughing and gagging while we moaned, groaned, and laughed. We used water to wash out our mouths. I guess that was not such a good idea. Next time we’ll have to spray it down wind.
Around lunch we stopped at our first stream. It was not big but we could soak our feet.  It feels really good to soak the feet on a hot day.
At the end of the day, we reached the Mt Laguna store. The first thing we did was to get some food and drinks. Next we get our box and sorted out the food. Then came more food. As the store closed we went over to the local outfitters. The store is owned buy a gentleman we met last summer as we hike the JMT and he hiked the Sierra High Route. We talked with him for about a hour and picked up a new stuff sack and some cord to make a strap for Will’s hat.  It was the best stocked outdoor stores we have seen.
We are now camped in flat spot and the wind is really blowing in the trees above us. It is going to be a cold night.