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.

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…?


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.


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. 

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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