July 20, 2013
Slept fitfully as my bedroom was a no win. The Heatwave was warming up the night also. This enabled the mosquitoes to increase their hours of operation. Too warm to stay in the sleeping bag. Too painful to expose my body as an unconscious buffet. Always in transition, never sleeping fully.
Opened my eyes to an osprey circling overhead looking to remove a fishes IQ. Decided horizontal was preferable to vertical and stayed that way for a while. Orbit passed by. Her night was rougher. An unopened beer she stored in her pack turned out to be the opposite, soaking all. Her night spent in a brewery. No matter what, scenarios can always be worse.
A nearby market does not increase departure performance. Nor do coin-operated showers. For that matter. Shade with Wi-Fi in a heatwave turns out to be a detriment also. The morning slipped away in a cloud of excuses. Checked out Burney Falls which Teddy Roosevelt called the eighth wonder of the world. Perhaps he was looking for votes, but they were beautiful. I passed on a swim in the 40° pool at the bottom. Finally strapped on my pack at 12:30 and headed out. I was minus some armpit and spine skin where my pack had dug in on yesterday’s extended walk. There my pack gleefully returned to continue its excavation.
My enthusiasm for those first few miles of client was not extensive, but as with all things I eventually found my rhythm. At 5 miles, Rockcreek presented. There I found Slack and Red Beard playing trolls under the shade of the bridge. We spoke of the intercone squabbling that had many walking alone today. Such are group dynamics. Had a dip and lunch. The heat had caused most of my food to lose its shape over the last few days, so I basically ate mush. The hike, fueled by warm mush and cold stream water picked up steam.
The trail finally made its high point. The sun painted Mount Shasta any manner of ways depending on its mood. I kept at it. Caught an alligator lizard crossing a logging road. Then we both went our way. Most hikers were stopping early today, but I was in the mood to push on. Before full moon came up. I passed on using my headlamp, Moving from treeshadow to moonbeam like a little kid. Decided to make it to camp without artificial light. It was fun following a Blacksnake through pools of oil. The inevitable fall came hard. My feet flew out, and my hand smashed into a rock trying to break the fall, though I couldn’t see the rock anyway. What a dumb shit. Stubbornly, I continued the game with caution.
Slinked into camp at 10 PM and dug my headlamp out my pack. My hand would survive. Expected to find Red Beard here but he must have been in the mood too. Thus I was alone to the stars. Fell asleep rearranging them.
On the Pacific Crest Trail
Hiking the PCT for the Kids of Escuela Verde
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