Wednesday, August 08, 2018 – 17.20 miles
I left town at 6:30 AM because of the grim weather forecast. Crossing the Bridge of the Gods was neat, though it’s hard to appreciate the view when big chunks of metal are hurtling in your direction. I heard that a pedestrian walkway is in the works, so there you go, future hikers.
Physically, today was my most difficult day thus far. It involved 1421 metres of elevation gain and 906 metres of elevation loss (4662/2973 ft) and while I believe there was more elevation gain on the climb out of Seiad Valley, today was much hotter. I don’t know how much the temperature lowered as I gained elevation, but I checked the local forecast around 3:00 PM and Stevenson was at 33 degrees Celsius and ‘feels like 41’ with an excessive heat warning. I was beaded with sweat for half of the day, Jatbula Trail-style. Were there scenic rewards? Nope. There was haze, clearcut areas and active logging. I leapfrogged with Professor and VENOM in the morning, but passed them around noon and didn’t see them again. Hopefully they’re doing fine. Professor looked rough in the morning.
Besides being a physical challenge, the trail was the grossest it’s been so far today. There was toilet paper in random spots, toilet paper in a fire ring and even exposed feces + toilet paper with fly action directly beside a switchback. Avoiding established campsites seemed safest, but the terrain wasn’t conducive to stealth camping, so I decided to camp in an established campsite a few miles from the next water source (it’s a twisted law of the universe that people who don’t dispose of their waste properly always camp at water sources). The site turned out to be clean and looked like it hadn’t been used for awhile. Tiny mosquitoes started pestering me around 7:00 PM, replacing the annoying biting flies that had been shadowing me all day.