PCT Day 19

June 3

Miles 229-Mission Camp Spring

11 miles

I slept so hard last night. I’d gone off trail a bit to find a spot of sand next to a creek. I’m not sure if it was the comforting babble of water nearby, or yesterday’s extreme heat that made my slumber so deep. I woke up after a night full of complicated dreams. The day promised to be hot again, so I tried to hurry myself onto the trail.

I entered a section that had been burned in a fire years ago. Wild flowers seem to be an important part of the regeneration cycle, especially the lupines. I love lupines. The drifts of purple flowers looked exquisite next to the burned black trees. Lupines are legumes, so they fix nitrogen into the soil. 

That’s all the science I know.
Dead trees, called widow makers, lean at dangerous angles. How long does it take for a habitat like this to recover? And how fascinating, to see the bunches of greenery sprouting from surviving trees, to see one untouched living tree in the midst of blackened trees. Across the hillside, the forest looked barren and dry. All the underbrush was gone, and the remaining trees stayed upright only out of habit. 

I came to the last bit of Mission Creek and stopped for a break. Three miles later I came to horse camp next to a spring. There were picnic tables, which I love. I made sure to set my tent well away from any burned trees, in case any of them decided to crash down in the night. 

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