This morning I tried to hit the trail early, knowing I had almost 9 miles of hard hiking ahead of me. I felt fantastic, though. Last night the mosquitos were ferocious, so HBB and I hit our tents very early. She managed to cook her dinner by just sticking her hands out of the zipper from inside her tent, but I settled for cold dinner out of my food bag. When we got up this morning, the skeeters were swarming everywhere but we had hopes that once we started hiking, they would relax a bit.
Todays hiking was simply stunning. First rolling hills through a deep green forest, and then sub-alpine meadows full of wild flowers. My favorite part of the day was when both sides of the trail were thick with vibrant, purple wildflowers. They smelled so good and I kept stopping to take pictures of them.
I just kept thinking, no one back home is ever going to believe this.
I climbed steadily for much of the day singing my favorite uphill song, “One
Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall”. Before long, I topped out over Packtrain Ridge. The views were 360 degrees and I totally felt like I was on top of the world. 🙂
From there I was above tree line for a while, with nothing but brown rock surrounding me. I finally caught sight of one of the famous whistling marmots that had been singing us both to sleep, and awake. They are small, fat, tan and brown furry things, about the size of a house cat. I came across a man and woman that were day hiking and they said that I had just missed a bear…..that she had come within 50 feet of them! I remarked that that was much to close for my personal comfort, and the man just laughed and said that she wasn’t the bit interested in us. Hmmmmm…..I think I will just keep my eye out anyway so one doesn’t get that close to me!
After a gorgeous day of hiking, I pulled into Sunrise Camp and since the Babe wasn’t there yet, I picked out a site and set up camp. The mosquitos are seriously unbelievable. They swarm continuously, and you can see clouds of them in the air. I was pretty sure that they couldn’t get much worse. Wrong! There is no water at the camp, so I had to walk down to the lake to
filter water. I can see the skeeters thick in the air and can hear a continual ‘buuuuzzzzz’, which is a bit like being in a bad horror film. It is a little weird. Then I got down to the water and wow, oh wow….. The lake is extremly shallow. A good 20 feet out into the lake, it is still only about three inches deep. And the entire thing is full of mosquito larve. I am not kidding. Thank goodness for my new Sweetwater filter!! Between the silt and larve, it is a miracle that I got water at all, but it did the trick beautifully.
By the time I get back to the tent, I am starting to not feel so good. I dash into my tent to escape the bugs and crash on my sleeping bag. When the Babe shows up three hours later, I am dead asleep. She had met Silver Lining and Little Bit at a road crossing and Hiker Biker Babe had brought back treats. As soon as she said the word ‘treats’ I knew I was in trouble.
My stomach is not well at all.
With that in mind, I am signing off.
Anna aka Mud Butt