Friday, July 24, 2009

Central Oregon

I am sorry that I have not updated my journal in a while. I am updating it as I find Internet access along the way. I have not found any Internet access since Ashland. It's now July 23, 10 days since I left Ashland, and I've finally found Internet access in Elk Lake Resort. I don't have unlimited time. The owner of the resort was kind enough to let me borrow his computer, so I have to be quick.

I will say that Oregon so far is Hell on Earth. I'm serious. I am not having a good time. I'm mostly fleeing at the fastest I can go from horrible clouds of the angriest, most aggressive mosquitoes I have ever seen. I started the state wearing ordinary zip-off pants, a tank top and long-sleeved desert shirt. They bite me through the pants, through the desert shirt anywhere the tank top does not cover and even through my shoes and socks.

In Crater Lake area I was able to tolerate them ok with my headnet and keeping moving. Crater Lake was absolutely beautiful, by the way, and I had a wonderful time there experiencing trail magic after trail magic. The Ultramarine Blue is amazing. I will describe everything in more detail when I get a better chance.

After Crater Lake I went through a section after Theilsen Peak where the mosquitoes were in a frenzy. I could not outrun them. They bit me everywhere they could. The air was thick with them and when my arms swung I could feel hundreds of them. My only salvation lay ahead at Shelter Cove Resort. I walked as fast as I could.

When I got there I bought both a T-shirt and an aerosol can of bug repellent. Now I could be better covered under my desert shirt and not get bites on my shoulders, chest and back. With the aerosol I could fog myself with DEET and hopefully stand a chance out there. I do not like the smell of DEET and it makes me a little woozy, but it smells like victory.

Last night I slept in a dead forest of half-trees. I thought there would be no mosquitoes there but I was wrong. There were fewer, though, so I was happy. In the morning the zipper broke on my tent. I no longer have a sanctuary from them. The only thing I could do was run to Elk Lake Resort 28 miles away, which I did in record time. I found a piece of a sheet in the hiker box. I hope that will serve as some kind of door to my tent until I can get a new tent.

I hate Oregon. The trail is mostly boring, viewless forest and when it is interesting I cannot enjoy it. So many turquoise lakes beckon me to swim in the hot sunny afternoon but I cannot stop. I can only run and run and run and hope for a good spot to set up camp in the evening so I can zip up in my tent and never come out until morning, no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. If you know what I mean. I have had to choose between dehydration and washing my cookpot. Washing my cookpot won.

I will sit here at Elk Lake waiting for my shoes to arrive and possibly a tent, too. I hope I can survive. I hope you can't die from mosquito bites.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a nightmare! There is another anti-bug product that is not as harmful as Deet - Lemon Eucalyptus. It is really good.

    I sometimes spray it on bites and they subside fast. If spraying Lemon Euc. makes you sneeze, then spray your clothes under a cloth before putting them on. Hopefully, you can find it in Elk.