08 Jul Day 73 – Cold and Mosquitoes
At mile 1777.8 Hiked 22.5 miles today.
Cold morning, I guess 35 degrees F. I was later told that it had been 32 degrees F. I had shipped out my down jacket and fleece pants. I wore my silk long underwear underneath my hiking shorts. I also wore a down vest and lightweight rain jacket. I hiked fast to help warm up.
Here I am at mile 1768.5 when I realized I have hiked half of the PCT. Having skipped over 440 miles, the halfway point for me is at mile 1765.
I also failed to mention that yesterday I broke my personal record for the longest hike uninterrupted by zero days when I passed 650 miles since returning to the PCT. It happened on my 24th day back. Starting in March in Southern California, I had hiked 650 miles in 37 days before taking a zero day.
Hitchhike couple live near SLT. He has hiked a lot of PCT in Sierras.
I stopped at Fish Lake resort where I had a double 1/3 pound cheese burger, potato and ham soup and a chocolate milkshake. I met a couple who live near South Lake Tahoe and were interested in my hike. Later on I was walking and hitchhiking to get back to the trail when this same couple drove up and offered me a ride. Thanks!
Now I hiked through woods without a breath of a breeze other than the breeze coming off thousands of mosquitoe wings. Some mosquitoes make a big show by forming clouds of swarms. These weren’t those. They went directly for blood. I could keep moving and slap them away from my arms. This was effective for a while. Eventually I stopped and as mosquitoes landed on me I dug our 34% Deet cream from my pack and dabbed just the tiniest bit on those juicy pieces of flesh that the mosquitoes seemed to prefer. I was parsimonious because I didn’t know how long I might have to make this single tube of mosquito repellent last. It worked. I only had to deal with a little itching where mosquitoes had momentarily broken through my slapping defense.
I love the way the trail is built through these lava flows. It is a work of art. Four days later I met a man who told me that his dad helped build trails like these. In the 60’s, his dad and grandfather worked on the Oregon Skyline trail which later became the PCT. Moving lava rocks, the workers went through a pair of leather gloves per day. The red pumice on the trail was hauled in by wheelbarrow.
Here is a volcano.
Here is another view of the red trail.
This is South Brown Mountain Shelter.
It was cold. I was hoping that someone would have a fire going in this stove.