Friday, July 06, 2018 – 14.10 miles
Mosquito levels varied today as the trail dipped up and down. Past a vista, I encountered a clearing covered with deadfall and lost the trail. I retraced my steps and gave it another go across the logs, but lost the trail again and couldn’t see where the path entered the forest on the other side of the clearing. Finally I just bushwhacked until I hit clear trail. I think that’s the first piece of trail I’ve encountered that hasn’t been easy to follow.
I cooked potatoes in a mostly mosquito-free location just past a junction where the non-PCT trail was blocked off with sticks despite multiple signs indicating which way the PCT goes. It seemed like a good illustration of the unfortunate attitude of some in the thru-hiking community who believe that their activity is inherently superior to others. I’ve seen people celebrating at the completion of tiny hikes because for them it was a huge challenge – everyone’s acts and accomplishments are meaningful to themselves and there’s nothing noble or the like about walking thousands of kilometres, unless of course you’re Crazy 71 and raising money for orphans. Two weekend backpackers who I had chatted with earlier arrived and were not impressed either. They were out of view but I heard them kicking the sticks away, and one of them kept repeating ‘so many PCT hikers…’. What? Are bad at navigation? Have delusions of self-grandeur? Are general bumbleheads? [There are] so many PCT hikers (the kindest possibility)?
The wind carried in thick smoke in the afternoon, blocking off what would have been nice views of lakes that were barely visible through the haze. The air cleared towards the evening and I got my views as I descended to a campsite near a seasonal stream, which was much nicer than I had expected it to be. Campsites seem to usually have either views or water, but this one has both. It also has mosquitoes, but I’m learning to accept them as one learns to accept the grim presence of judgy in-laws.