Saturday, July 11, 2009

On a little saddle, mile 1688 or so

We all got up early, except for the guy in the other tent who was just driving by and stopped there to try the pancake challenge the next day. I wonder how he did. I felt really sticky and sweaty and wished I could take a shower but I had no more quarter and wanted to get going by 6am.

The climb was steep. The PCT had forgotten long ago about gentle climbs. I realized it was these steep climbs that have injured my right heel. I tried to be more gentle with it and not just force myself up the hills.

The views climbing were nice but not really anything you could photograph well. Soon I reached the top and went down toward a very aptly named Lily Pad Lake. Just after that, I saw a bear far down in a meadow just being a bear. I watched him for a while. Bears always look like their being annoyed either by insects or by the voices in their heads.

I met a couple at Kangaroo Spring. THey had ridden the bus in with Billy Goat by they didn't not stay in the RV park. Further on I met two more backpackers, then a day hiker. Two other day hikers with a big dog with tiny red booties also came by. I saw cars and a giant white tent in the middle of nowhere. Happy Saturday!

At Cook and Green Pass, I met two wildflower lovers out to hike a trail down to see the flowers. They told me that this area had the greatest biological diversity of California and that I would see a huge variety of flowers in another day or so when I reached the blue schist area. I couldn't imagine seeing any more variety than I had already seen. After these two, I saw no other people.

The climb out of Cook and Green Pass was hot and exposed. It reminded me of Southern California. There was very little water and shade on the rocky trail. I used my umbrella.

I couldn't get control over my hunger. Nothing satisfied me. My stomach growled. I remembered I had a packet of pudding. Next spring and I would make it. My stomach only roared louder.

It took a long time, but I finally found Beardog Spring. I made banana pudding and that did the trick.

ONward I went without much of a goal except to try to hike about 25 miles. I stopped at a nice camp spot to cook dinner, packed it in my pack and kept hiking one more hour. I found a flat spot next to the trail at 7pm. No mosquitoes, a bit of shade, and plenty of time to relax. I had brought the novel with me and my new nightly reward was to read a chapter or two.

I'd be in Oregon tomorrow!

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