Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 58: For The Sake of Protecting Humanity

Friday, July 27, 2018 – 14.20 miles

This morning I stopped at a pond to filter water and eat potatoes. It must have been a popular break spot, since ground squirrels immediately popped up to beg for food. You’re so cute with your shiny, garbage-fattened bodies and moist, emboldened, corrupted eyes, but I can’t…

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When I went to draw more water, I left my backpack unattended, thinking that only a Grand Canyon-level rodent would chew through the fabric in broad daylight. One of the ground squirrels was directly beside it when I returned – maybe a close call.

At a certain junction, and I apologize in advance for not remembering which junction it was, the PCT went left while a different trail went right. I knew the other trail would cross the PCT again a short distance later, but having no reason not to, I of course chose the PCT. A rational but unfortunate decision. The PCT soon disintegrated into a nightmare of zero maintenance, so the other trail must be the favourite child for this short section, and hikers are intended to take it to the second junction.

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The deadfall prefers the path to the surrounding terrain

Here’s a photo looking back at the second junction, with the PCT on the right and the lack of maintenance obvious.

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A stark contrast

So if you’re hiking in this area, you pass a junction and the path turns into a crazy mess, that’s where you are.

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Leaf with only the veins remaining
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Mt. Jefferson

Rockpile Lake was my favourite lake in a long while. The mile listings in eTrails were mixed up in this section, so I thought that I had passed Shale Lake when I hadn’t come to it yet. A sign marking the entrance to Pamelia Lake Limited Entry Area confirmed the error. The limited entry area had nice views to various lakes, and Shale Lake was pretty, but it also contained a rogue horde of mosquitoes. Were its boundaries defined by the mosquitoes? Is it limited entry for the sake of protecting people from the mosquito population?

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Shale Lake

I’m camping just beyond the boundary in one of several established spots. The mosquitoes are fewer, but still around in numbers that I haven’t seen since the Three Sisters area.

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