Saturday, July 14, 2018 – 16 miles
After facing ghastly numbers of mosquitoes throughout the early morning, I encountered two SOBO hikers who told me that the mosquitoes were even worse in the vicinity of Summit Lake. Wah… it so happened however that I arrived at the lake within the mosquito-free midday hours, so I was able to enjoy lunch there.
The trail then entered the Diamond Peak Wilderness, which was ominously full of shallow, stagnant lakes of variable water quality.
The forested section wasn’t particularly interesting, but the scenery became top-notch when the trail climbed into meadows with views of Diamond Peak. Still plenty of snow on the volcano.
Because of the absence of eTrails data points, I was using paper maps to gauge the distance to my next water source, the headwaters of Mountain Creek. Every time I came to a dry streambed in that area I felt concerned, thinking that the creek might have gone dry since the last water report update. To my relief, I eventually found the real creek with a strong flow of water and clouds of mosquitoes. To block the hordes while filtering water, I added my rain jacket and gloves to my mesh suit: an impenetrable barrier. An impenetrable, sweltering barrier.
After the creek I began looking for a campsite, but the trail was suddenly sopping with pools everywhere and no established sites. I headed off-trail in a promising direction and bushwhacked until I found an acceptable site. The mosquitoes are so bad that I ran around to try to lose them before scrambling into my tent. There are probably 40-50 buzzing between the mesh and the doors right now.
Again I’m not sure of the distance walked. Let’s say 16 miles.