August 1, 2016
Bushcamp near spring (mile 2190.6) to Mosquito Creek (mile 2216.2)
Our total miles: 1809.9
Our alarm went off at 5:20. Without opening her eyes Laurie groggily pawed around to find the watch and pushed a button to make it stop beeping. She immediately fell back asleep. With his earplugs in, Andy soundly slept through the whole thing.
We both woke up at 6:30.
We did it again.
Getting to camp late lends itself to going to bed late which in turn makes it very hard to wake up early. Particularly with days longer than 22 miles, we depend on sleep to revitalize and rejuvinate our bodies.
Six to seven hours of sleep isn’t sufficient. So, we sleep through our alarms 🙂
We were walking by 7:20. Not bad considering we woke up less than hour beforehand.
Our forest walk continued this morning. The ground was soft and the air cool. Andy walked with his fleece on for the first 2 miles. We picked huckleberries as we walked. These were the sweetest we had encountered thus far!
We got water from a spring and continued to saunter along. Occasionally the trail wandered out of the forests and into meadows. The sun was intense and we appreciated the cool shade of the trees.
We hiked up along the spine of a ridge offering views of Mt Adams and Mt St. Helens.
The huckleberries along this ridge were AMAZING. They were dark purple, large and juicy. Andy was leading and often turned around to see Laurie at least 100 feet behind him, poles on the ground and both hands plucking at a bush. We were in heaven!
Around 12:30 we stopped for lunch at Blue Lake. We found a nice spot in the shade and immediately upon sitting the mosquitoes found us.
After being bitten on the feet and ankles we put our shoes back on. It felt good to be off our feet but the break wasn’t very restful.
We hiked past Bear Lake and gazed down at the beautiful blue water and sandy beach. Laurie had forgone swimming at Blue Lake because of all the mosquitoes but this beach looked too good to pass up.
We took a side trail down about 200 feet and walked along the shore to a beach. Laurie stripped down and jumped in without hesitation. In these woods hesitation leads to more mosquitoe bites.
Andy got water while Laurie swam.
After Laurie’s swim we continued onwards. We walked in silence again, as we had most of the morning – both lost in own worlds.
Laurie woke up feeling grouchy and critical. The mosquitoes at lunch made her even more uncomfotable. But this dip in refreshing clear water brought a deep smile back to her face.
As we climbed back up to the PCT Laurie found a pep in her step and Andy lost his umph.
This seems to happen. Luckily usually we trade off feeling sluggish and are able to carry the other person along – whether by stories or shot blocks.
This afternoon Laurie took over leading. She set a good pace and we quickly covered miles.
Andy’s stomach wasn’t happy and hiking wasn’t very pleasurable, but he kept moving. An hour or so later he felt much better.
Around 5:30 we crossed a gravel road and encountered a SOBO (turned out to be a friend of Laurie’s friend) and a llama packer. We admired the llamas, talked with Brendan and shared tips about the towns and trail to come.
Laurie listened to podcasts for the last 2 hours to camp. We walked past many freshly cut trees and felt grateful that we didn’t have to crawl over them.
We crossed Mosquito Creek at 7 pm. We got water and Andy continued .1 miles to scope out a campsite. Laurie got distracted by larger and dark looking huckleberries.
In her world there is no better way to celebrate the end of a day than eating huckleberries, well maybe that and cheese.
Two women were already at camp and we talked with them as we set up our tent. They were very friendly and good natured.
Laurie had service and got distracted by emails and text messages while Andy boiled water for dinner.
We ate, cleaned up and were ready to sleep before 10pm, a rarity for Andy. The clouds are nowhere to be found and the air is crisp. We wil sleep well tonight.
Tonight we are grateful for trail crews and refreshing swims.