Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 37: Grider Canyon Is the Whipping Boy

Wednesday, July 04, 2018 – 6.10 miles

I woke up in the middle of the night to something climbing on my tent. A small shape slid down the fabric. A few minutes later I heard something on the tent near my head, and shook the fabric. Something else slid down. Mouse? Damn you, established tentsite! I was terrified for my tent but luckily it/they went away without chewing anything. That makes sense, since my food was outside and my experience from living in a mouse-infested house is that they don’t bother with things unrelated to food or nesting (they got into everything except the fridge…), but I was worried that they had learned from other hikers that tents = food. If Rats of Nimh taught us anything, it’s that even normal mice are pretty smart.

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So loveable

More walking on lava rock today. The trail was beautifully constructed, a strip of level earth across the rough rock.

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I had a resupply package waiting in Fish Lake, so I turned onto the 2 mile spur trail at the junction. It was oddly wide and flat and when I heard whizzing behind me, I realized that it was a multiuse trail used by cyclists as well. That got me thinking about the controversial topic of bikes on the PCT. I know that everyone has their stances, but can we all agree that bikes in Grider Canyon would be hell for bikers and hikers alike? Supposedly the PCTA is doing trail work there, but I’m not sure how successful they’ll be without using a flamethrower.

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Fish Lake’s hiker campsite is free and located in a scenic spot near the lake. The employee manning the shop counter was douchey and rolling his eyes at a woman who had to step away for a few seconds to speak to her unruly child. There wasn’t even a line, it was just me and her. To me he gave zero information about the facilities, but given that the hiker campsite is free, I viewed that as a ‘you get what you pay for’ scenario until I heard a different employee giving another hiker plenty of information later. The showers were $1.50 for I think three minutes? The drain was clogged and I ended up standing ankle-deep in water. Feedback from another hiker indicated that the bathrooms near the shop might be better. The food at the small restaurant was good and the employees there were friendly.

For other hikers, I met Half-And-Half, Bear, Cache 22 and Trish/Theresa?, who was hiking with her dog. Half-And-Half had just signed a publishing deal for a book before starting his hike, and it’s due to come out in the fall. I recorded the title of the book in my phone but it was deleted with my entire PCT folder (more on this later) so unfortunately I can’t advertise what sounded like a worthy read. I know that it started with ‘The Love Story of Pinky’. Maybe it was ‘The Love Story of Pinky Wallerton’? And it’s about a cowboy and his land conflict with his neighbour in the years following the Great Depression. Cache 22 manages the water tank called Cache 22, which I want to say is located along Hat Creek Rim, but I could be mistaken. He said that the tank costs $200+ to fill initially and he’s gotten few donations so far this year. If you use something and there’s a donation box or means of donation stated, donate! Bear is a beast and had walked 38 miles today to reach Fish Lake. He was a sociable and entertaining guy, as were the others. Overall a great group and I enjoyed my dinner with them.

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