Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Near a minor crest saddle to a lakelet

I woke up tired and didn't want to get up. The bugs had found my tent and were whining on the backside but ignoring the front. I didn't feel very hungry, either. But I ate and packed up and got away unscathed, steeling myself for another exhausting day of sweating inside my tightly sealed clothing. I struggled with a feeling of wanting to quit. The mosquitoes, the boring trail, the heat. But I forced myself onward.

I did reach some nice viewpoints and saw some interesting volcanic mountains. I walked on quite a bit of snow. At a saddle with no mosquitoes and good views of Tipsoo Peak I stopped to rest a little. Tipsoo Peak was red and black and the top was layered. I had passed the Oregon/Washington highpoint at 7560 feet. All downhill from here, eh? Uh, no. My hope now was for a close to 30 mile day.

Well, if any trail can reach the highpoint in the morning and then climb all afternoon, it's the PCT. I sure climbed a lot of hills after reaching the flat highpoint in the middle of a meadow.

There was a place to get water off the trail called Six Horse Spring. I went down to get water. It was a frog pond. I only got one liter, which turned out to be a mistake. The Data Book listed another water source a tenth of a mile east on a road coming up. But later when I read the Guide Book there was no mention of this water or road at all. At the road itself there was nothing pointing to water, no indication that anyone had gone in search for water. There was another chance for water in 2 more miles, so I forged onward with my water supply dwindling.

There was a sign at another road advertising a trail angel. I wished he had cached some water at the road. The next water would be off-trail at a hidden pond. The point to go looking for the pond was at a saddle. Sometimes the land here seemed featureless to me in this viewless forest. I often could not tell if I was on a saddle or not. I had a suspicion at the hour I should have arrived at this spot that I might be on the saddle in question, but I could see no faint pathways where others had found the hidden lakelet. So with only one liter of water left in my pack I made camp in a slightly breezy spot that still had as many mosquitoes as most everywhere I had ever been lately.

The good news today was that there were little breezes all day. THat really made the heat more tolerable. I was able to walk without the headnet most of the day. And tonight I made a cold dinner that turned out to be one of the tastiest yet. Cous-cous with curry, raisins, pecans, tuna and mayo. I've got to make that again! I met two backpackers today at the highpoint. I met my goal to walk close to 30 miles, too.

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