Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – 15.80 miles
Another smoky day today. Noooooargh. After a few nice views in the morning, thick smoke rolled in everywhere in the afternoon.
I spoke to a few day hikers who told me that the air quality is supposed to improve over the next few days. A glimmer of hope!
Most of the time I see no scenic merit in the smoke, but when I entered a burn area in the afternoon, it looked atmospheric with its orange pine needles and muted colours.
At Big Crow Basin Spring, I met a cluster of thru-hikers and was cheered to hear that other people are also dispirited by the smoke and closures (misery loves company…?). Since a large burn area was right ahead, I decided to camp with four other hikers in an established campsite a few minutes from the spring. My gas is low and the wind is gusting with the stench of smoke, so I tried a supper of cold potatoes and chickpeas. It was surprisingly edible. One of the other hikers, Hardcore (not the same Hardcore I met on the AZT), told me that all Canada entry permits have been revoked due to an end-of-trail closure that I haven’t been thinking about since it’s still far away. She also claimed that the permits will remain invalid even if the trail reopens. That info seems suspect but I suppose it’s possible.