Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 73: The Great Tragedy

Sunday, August 12, 2018 – 12.90 miles

The mouse was wonderfully well-behaved last night and didn’t chew through anything. I didn’t hear it exploring either, though the tree was raining on my tent whenever the wind blew, generating pattering noises that could have masked mousy footsteps. Perhaps the mouse got a whiff of my socks and declared the campsite to be a biohazard for the next ten generations of mousekind. Fukushima will be sorted out before any mouse sets foot on those twigs again.

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Old growth tree bark

Lots of old trees and huckleberry bushes today, but are the berries blue or red when ripe? I can’t remember what the ranger said. The PCT passes through an area popular with huckleberry pickers and a handful of people were camped there, but is the season beginning or ending…?

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When approaching Mosquito Creek I heard people and dog noises coming from upstream, so I decided to wait to get water until the next listed source, a Mosquito Creek tributary fed by Cold Spring. Mosquito Creek flows in and out of ‘Big Mosquito Lake’, and there’s also a ‘Little Mosquito Lake’ and ‘Mosquito Lake Station’. This area is just bursting with charm. I seem to have evaded the bad mosquito season though since there aren’t many at all, especially during the day.

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I met Floater, a section hiker (so many possible meanings for that trail name, but it’s because he lived on a houseboat). He said that a SOBO hiker had told him about upcoming trail magic that was a bucket of weed. Floater was skeptical. I was ready to believe, but didn’t care either way. When I got there, I found empty water jugs, a garbage bag filled with empty cans and seemingly personal garbage that hikers had been putting in with no regard for animals, and a bucket. The bucket had images of foliage on the sides. I opened the bucket. There was only a notebook inside… but there could have been something else in there at one point, right? I guess I could have read the comments in the notebook for some insight, but I’ll just believe whatever I want. 

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What was inside? Ultimately, who cares.

Supper was disgusting. A baggie of mystery grain had been in my food bag for multiple weeks, so I decided to finally cook it. I overestimated how much water I would need, so I added potatoes, which turned it into a kind of sludge, and I also added dried chickpeas, which I’ve liked as an addition to pasta/rice along the trail. The mystery grain could not be saved (the potatoes made it worse) but I had to eat it all because there was no other way to get rid of it… a great tragedy of the trail.

My cough was bad this morning and while I was talking to people during the day. I’m going to take a mostly-zero nero in Trout Lake tomorrow, and may take another zero after that, since my condition seems to be worsening on the trail.

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