Friday, August 04, 2017
My day began with a bit of indecision and I hiked up the Annie's Spring alternate trail with near a thousand foot elevation gain in 5 miles to the rim. I found cell service 1/4 mile away from the trail, the same spot as yesterday. I'll head out in a moment and push beyond Lightening Springs and try for Grouse Hill (PCT mile 1836)where a maintained water cache is near by. And the map sections I grabbed today are for the official PCT route which is closed to fire... The route I'm taking is not in danger today. I will listen for any changes.
Thru-hiking is not beautiful. Everyone and everything is dirty. A true thru-hiker has turkey legs browned with dirt, feet that don't scrub clean with calluses where blisters were. We have sores where the pack rubs and bug bites where, never mind where but, they are there. Honestly, I can't think of any better looking class of folks as the dedication to hiking is a huge drive that translates to other avenues of life. Everyone has an ache and a big smile.
3 pm. I made it around the firezone. Lots of smoke hangs in the air. The Rim Trail follows the road. Small patches of snow on the north west side of a point called the Watchman. Tourists duck to and fro their cars to take photos only to do the same at the next pull out. They don't take hike gulps of air with every step. The smoke is irritating. Swirls of butterflies erupt in several areas. Where butterflies are seen fewer mosquitoes are found.
I rejoined the official PCT route at mile 1836.7. I've stopped at a maintained water cache to refill and nurse a blister. I had to thread a threat through the core calluse to drain it. The skin on the bottom of the foot is tougher than ya think it is but, not in the least bit painful.
I am so glad to be clear of the Fire zone. The air isn't much cleaner. I'm now moving away from it. One of the concerns I have is how nasty the air is. Think about when you last enjoyed a campfire with friends then you forgot to wash the smoke enhanced clothes for a week. Yup, that's what I smell like. I have new respect for hot shots on the fire line.
Okay, 1 mile to a campsite that's 7 miles from another water cache. Err make that in a bit. I'm gona have something major to eat first.
Miles for today since I put these in my journal I'm gona calculate them here first. Mazama Village to the rim: 2.4 + 1.2 (of Annie's Spring trail). Guthook just came through for me, The Annie's Spring alternate trail is 17. 4 miles behind me. So at my rest point: 18.6 plus 1/2 mile detour for cell reception equals 19.1 and then a mile odd for the campsite, 20 plus. I need at least two 20's and the rest being 15's to hit my next resupply 67 miles away. Water and chaffing makes the calls over all. I do use lady grease which helps. I'm surprised the manufacturer hasn't figured out they can rebrand this stuff for guys.
I stopped for the evening around 6pm. If my chaffing wasn't bad I'd go on, my legs have the strength and my heart the endurance. Above me is blue sky. Around me solid trees. I'm a mile in yet, I hear cars passing 100 yards down. So far I'm solo at this point.
Time to just chill with the flies and midges.