Thursday, August 16, 2018 – 15.90 miles
I was walking by 6:30 AM this morning. The west fork of Adams Creek was 0.4 miles ahead, and I could already hear it. A submission to the water report by Halfmile (!!), who provides free PCT maps and GPS data, had flagged the ford as tricky and also mentioned a sketchy log crossing. The creek was rushing with silty water when I arrived. It didn’t look fun, but nor did it look demonic like Russell Creek. I spotted the sketchy log crossing upstream and decided to not even check it out, since if Halfmile thought it was sketchy, I definitely would. I bagged my electronics, removed my socks and insoles and started across. The current wasn’t bad but the irregular creek bottom necessitated some care. On the other side, I sat down for breakfast.
Shortly a man arrived on the opposite bank and began looking around, wandering upstream. He was there for so long that I thought he might need help, so I motioned for him to come over, but he gave me the thumbs up and forded upstream. When he approached I recognized him as Grey Fox, who I had met in Trout Lake, and we chatted for awhile. A handful of other hikers passed in the meantime, apparently having the same idea of crossing early in the morning. Some used the log crossing while one pair forded without removing socks or insoles and immediately resumed their hike without changing their socks. Your poor feet??
The ford was the most exciting part of another hazy day. I arrived at Lava Spring, which is purported to have excellent water (trail parlance for ‘it’s cold’) to find a thru-hiker washing his socks directly in the stream. I’ve always found that gross and I don’t understand why people can’t do it in a freezer bag. He then started to lecture another thru-hiker about carrying a tarp as a groundsheet instead of Tyvek. Dude… don’t pester other people about their gear choices… A small group of boy scouts/affiliates arrived and a man called 2018 ‘our worst smoke year’. Sadface.
The road prior to the Goat Rocks Wilderness had the customary permit box, but this one also had a sign stating that holders of long distance PCT permits are required to fill out permits for national wilderness areas. I was confused because I thought that I had already passed through numerous wilderness areas and that the purpose of the PCT long distance permit was so I wouldn’t have to fill out individual permits for them. Maybe those were state wilderness areas? I don’t know. I fear I did a bad job filling out the card, since I was unable to provide any information about campsites, which it wanted me to list. I just put ‘random camping’. Sorry.
The afternoon featured a number of ponds that eTrails balefully describes as ‘mosquito ponds’ in which mosquitoes are ‘amassing their forces to take over the world’. I definitely noticed an uptick in mosquito numbers, but it must be too late in the season for hordes. I stealth camped near the Goat Rocks Wilderness boundary.