Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 35: Squishable

Monday, July 02, 2018 – 13.50 miles

Considering that I had town food yesterday evening, I woke up surprisingly hungry. I had more water than I needed to reach my next source, so I cooked potatoes and ate them with muesli for breakfast. 

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Today’s walking was humdrum. Cut down trees, roads. A stretch of forest had ‘no trespassing, stay on trail’ signs every 5-10 metres and someone had written ‘<- they seem friendly’ on one of the PCT markers, which made me chuckle. Maybe the landowners were having problems with hikers venturing onto their land to camp, but the frequency of signage gave the impression that they were trying to hide a secret laboratory in which they experiment on humans. I guess in that case they would be trying to lure hikers in, though.

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I met a thru-hiker who introduced himself as ‘Caveman’, which also made me laugh. Hopefully he wasn’t offended – I thought he looked nonplussed, but it could have been my imagination. I asked how he got his trail name and he said it was because he kept talking about using his ‘caveman instincts’ in southern California. Zpacks tent pitching contest: caveman vs. contemporary thru-hiker.

I passed Grizzly Creek and the preceding canal, which were flagged in various resources as polluted. The usable source of the day was Big Springs, which was flowing well. The nearby campsites all featured toilet paper and/or critter holes, so I decided to keep walking and random camp somewhere.

About a mile later I found a nice spot beneath a magnificent old matriarch of a tree. 

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The temperature has dropped and the wind has picked up, but I can’t wear my thermal shirt because the fabric aggravates an insane spider(?) bite I have on my arm. I got one earlier in the hike as well and it took weeks to disappear. Speaking of arachnids, I’ve noticed a new type of bug that looks like a soft-bodied tick, judging by its gait and teardrop shape and squishiness. I’ve killed two, so hopefully they’re not spiders.

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