Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 36: Squirrel Fiver

Tuesday, July 03, 2018 – 10.50 miles

Hey, Oregon! You know it’s July, don’t you? I think not, judging by the frigid temperature when I woke up. I pulled an AZT and lingered in my warm sleeping bag.

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The question today was water. Brown Mountain Shelter used to have well water, but the pump handle was removed some time ago and hasn’t been replaced.

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Brown Mountain Shelter
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The shelter had a stove, sleeping platform, picnic bench and sign indicating that water was available near the road a short distance away. The source was a barely flowing stream feeding a pool. I was dubious of its quality but knew that it might be the only water until Fish Lake, so I filtered some. Not long afterwards, I found a seasonal stream and collected more from there. Its location was quiet and peaceful and I was annoyed when two other hikers walked past and started talking loudly about whether the stream was water, whether it was mentioned in Guthook, what it was coming out of, and so on.

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The squirrels along the PCT have been shy and quiet so far, but today one hanging around a nearby tree made the strangest keening noise like the squirrel version of Fiver having an episode. The trees hereabouts have been badly impacted by a fungus and it’s sad to see, particularly on the older trees. The death of something ancient. 

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Near the end of the day, the trail passed onto piles of volcanic rock. I dredged my brain for possible varieties. Basalt, andesite? It was cool to walk through and returned a mountainous quality to the trail. I pitched my tent in an established campsite with tons of ants, but they’re not aggressive and I like watching them. They’re so cute when they clean their antennae.

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