Day 79 - Shelter Cove - Uphillhike
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Day 79 – Shelter Cove

At mile 1906.6. Hiked 14.1 miles today. Also hiked off trail to Shelter Cove.

Plan: Resupply and camp at Shelter Cove. Hike Tuesday through Friday and go into Belt, OR. for resupply, shop at REI, and overnight at Brew Hostel (1 free craft beer at hostel, but more expensive hostel).

Mosquitoes: I haven’t enjoyed the mosquitoes, but I hike in short sleeve shirt and shorts and as longboard as I keep moving they don’t bother me much. They almost never bite my bare legs while I am moving, but will occasionally attack my arms while I’m moving. Deet helps some and has kept them off my arms for a while. I had a new appreciation for how lucky I am when I met a woman and older man hiking the other direction. Both these people were well covered but the gentleman didn’t not have a square inch of flesh exposed. As I stood there in shorts and short sleeves with head net pulled up, not one mosquito landed on me. Meanwhile the man’a long sleeve shirt and headnet gathered mosquitoes until he was well covered with mosquitoes. I looked over at his companion and she was mostly mosquitoe free. I remarked to the man thatbI wished he would hike with me because he draws away all of the mosquitoes. He asked whether I took vitamins and I told him that I use the Vitamin C drink packets. He told me that he believed that was why mosquitoes stayed away from me. Who knows? Maybe it is the coffee I drink or something else. In any event, I’ll count myself lucky and try not to complain about mosquitoes too much. Others have it worse. 

At Shelter Cove a number of PCT hikers were coming and going. I sat around the  PCT area with Bear just talking.

We got on the subject of how much of the time hiking was actually enjoyable. Funny that Bear has been thinking about that because I had been considering this question just today as I was hiking. My opinion that 10% was enjoyable and honestly that may be an overestimate. Much of the time you are tired or sore. You may be carrying a heavier than usual load of food and water. Even if you are feeling rested, you may be struggling up or down steep slopes. The trail could be rocky. It can be hot or cold or there could be high winds. You can be struggling through snow or just simply trying to navigate unreadable trails. The trail may be overgrown or populated with poison oak, poodle dog bush, or mosquitoes. Even when conditions or ideal, boredom can set in. Actual hiking is very different than a short stroll through a natural area. 

So what do we enjoy about it? Bear  who hiked 40 miles per day and has lost about 70 pounds since hiking the AT last year and PCT this year says that we enjoy it when we stop to take a break. The enjoyment is not the hiking, but when we stop hiking and get some relief. That is also true for me  some days, but it is a sign I need to slow down. The thing is … long distance hikers have this compulsion to move on. As T-Rex says, “if you aren’t moving you aren’t making progress, you can only walk so fast.” T-Rex is a 40 mile per day hiker that averages at least 3.5 miles per hour.

After walking through woods I came out in the open with a wide bowl of snow covered mountains above. THis photo captures only a sliver of the view.

There were patches of snow covering the trail and suddenly streams were abundant.

Looking back toward Thielson Peak. The pointy one 🙂

There were some ponds.