Mile 1906.6 to mile 1933.2 (26.6 miles, 42.8km)
Planning on having a shorter day today I slept in until 6:30am. Just enough time to get packed up and head over to the cafe for opening at 7am for a breakfast burrito and coffee.
I was on the move by 8am, loosing 2 hours hiking time off my normal day there was still plenty of time to get 25 miles in.
Most of today (and tomorrow) the trail passed a series of lakes and ponds. Pretty to look at but swarming with mosquitoes. Some were clear as day and you could see logs lying on the bottom; others were cesspools, dirty brown and drying up.
The lakes have become the water sources for the day given there are no creeks around. I’m not a huge fan of lakes or ponds for water as the wet stuff is held captive and not regularly flushed out. Insects, fish and frogs abound and larger wildlife, horses and people use them with who knows what bring washed in over time. I had no other option so before filtering the water with my Sawyer, I pre-filtered through a bandana to take out as much floaters and big funk as possible.
There’s a steady stream of south bound hikers now. I passed around ten of them today and at one point I had to ask myself if I was headed in the right direction. I saw no NOBO’s at all today. Unheard of. Typically I’ll overtake around ten and be overtaken by one or two. All on my lonesome for the first time this hike.
As the afternoon was getting on and my feet were telling me they needed a break I came to a road crossing with the perfect solution to my problem – trail magic. A couple of coolers with sodas and snacks. The ice that had kept the drinks cool had long since melted and the remaining water was warm. None the less there is Pepsi, I get a sugar boost and get the perfect excuse to sit down for ten minutes.
Entering the Three Sisters Wilderness there is a Forest Service notice board and registration box where everyone has to get a permit. The PCT permit doesn’t cover this. Now I’m not quite sure what the idea behind this permit is as it is free; you obtain it from the box, essentially self registering. Perhaps its to collect stats on visitor numbers and use or to act as a contract in the fact that by simply having it assumes you’ve read the rules and regs on the back.
I found the Three Sisters to be mosquito HQ. Pretty sure they are amassing here before their bid to take over the globe. Initially it was one or two bites that were a bit of an annoyance. Soon it was a hundred hypodermic needles trying to pierce any exposed flesh and when they couldn’t find skin, bite through clothing. This got me thinking of a YouTube clip of ‘Dixie’ who hiked the PCT last year – in the same situation she makes up a song on the spot about the mosquitoes plan to kill her with the chorus “…is she anemic yet, is she anemic yet.” I ended up having to put on rain pants to cover my legs and provide a think enough barrier to the little buggers.
I’m yet to pass right through this area, that will happen tomorrow. My initial thoughts are this is like a swampland set in the hills with the hundreds of small ponds and larger lakes.