Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 50: Big Baby

Friday, May 03, 2019 – 10 miles

My gear got damp overnight, as it also did the previous night. Though I slept as well as could be hoped for on two slanted surfaces and didn’t get cold, it’s unpleasant to wake in the middle of the night and find your down sleeping bag damp to the touch. I was late packing up since I wanted to give everything a chance to dry, and didn’t start walking until 8:00 AM. 

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Today was another day of glorious butterflies. I had two less pleasant insect encounters, one when I discovered a soft grey tick crawling on my ankle, the other when I received a painful bite on the same ankle. I clawed the insect out of my sock. The bite hurt so much that I thought it might be from a venomous spider, so I found a baggie and searched for the thing on the ground so it could be identified if necessary. Turns out it was just a red ant, and I’m just an oversized uncute baby I guess, but I could still feel the bite three hours afterwards. There was also a fair amount of poison oak along the trail, which I was able to avoid.

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I passed Casa de Luna, a trail angel establishment. I had heard good things but not really considered visiting until I got a gushing description from another hiker today. He described it as ‘hippie daycare’ (daycare for hippies or daycare by hippies?) and was so earnest in his praise that I considered stopping even though I arrived at the junction early in the morning and didn’t need to resupply in Green Valley. But then I remembered that daycare costs money! Bear-shaped graham crackers cost money! Finger paints for brats to splash all over everything cost money! And I was going to be paying money for another daycare (the Saufley’s) in two days! Thus my decision not to go was reaffirmed. Later I encountered Louisa and Life and they told me that Bake and Dropbear were at Casa de Luna, so I missed running into them. Unfortunate, but thus is the fate of a rogue lone wolf southbounder (see how I added adjectives to make myself seem cooler?). Seeing Louisa and Life again was nice though and we exchanged trail information. They had been told by a helper at Hiker Heaven that the aquaduct section wasn’t worthwhile to hike at day. I tried to strongly refute that since I enjoyed it very much as opposed to the current Bushy McBush country, though I do love the butterflies.

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The campsites in this area have been grubby in general, maybe because the limited camping opportunities result in more use. I saw a cathole with an exposed baby wipe right beside the trail and close to water and a group of campsites today. I decided to stop early at a campsite on a vista in the hope that something away from water would be cleaner, but there’s trash here too. Oh, this is tragic country for camping! I’m just happy to be able to pitch my tent though so that everything won’t be damp. I can’t say that I understand the appeal of cowboy camping as other people have described it to me (being more connected to nature). Maybe it’s because I wear glasses and when I open my eyes in the night while cowboy camping, I see blurriness rather than the LA(?)-light polluted sky, but my sleeping mind just isn’t concerned with whether there’s a roof over it or not. However, I do have the privilege with the Altaplex of having one mesh wall, so maybe I would feel differently if I were still using the Fly Creek. I’m trying to remember whether I ever thought ‘gee… I wish that all of my gear would be damp in the morning’.

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