May 23, 2013
24 miles today
Oatmeal, for something new and completely different. Every day when hiking I have the same breakfast of four packets of oatmeal and cold water, the combination of flavors irrelevant. I figure a dog never varies their breakfast, why should I?
The hike of four miles to the first water stop warmed me up to the hole in my mouth. As I filled my water jug in the stream, I had the misfortune to find a pair of sunglasses. Trail etiquette demands that I make a solid effort to track down the owner –which means carrying them. The bane of all hikers is new weight. Now I had bane. Slack is an ace at tracking down owners of items he has found on the trail. Currently he is batting five for six. All day I picked up my pace trying to track down hikers in order to return the misplaced shades. All to no avail. No one claimed them.
The trail today cut through the dreaded poodle bush territory. Poodle bush springs up after a fire has devastated a forest. Like all members of the poodle family its bite is worse than its bark. If you brush up against it, symptoms similar to severe poison oak haunt you for about two weeks. In this section poodle bush crowds the path. The spasmodic dance to avoid its touch is both comical and grim.
All day my right knee nagged at me. This was not helped by an incident that took place in late afternoon. As I came around a bend, a hand reached up and grabbed my right ankle. Ass over teakettle I went. Bits and pieces flying everywhere. Orbit, who was eight feet in front of me, serenely oblivious to my screams because her headphones were in. It was worthy of the Keystone Cops. As I sat up from my cloud of dust, I resolved to stop thinking and start looking out for evil grabbers.
A long descent brought me to an uncharismatic saddle camp next to a fire station. The fire station appears obsolete, as the forest has already burned down. But who am I to question such things?
The moon is full and the dew heavy. Everyone has put up their tents except me. I opt for laziness, rub my lucky tooth in the hopes that it is not too damp tonight and head for slumber land.
On the Pacific Crest Trail
Hiking the PCT for the Kids of Escuela Verde
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