1751 – 1763
This morning I strolled down to the lake’s edge to collect water since all the taps in the campground were turned off. The water line was low and lined with mud. I didn’t realize how muddy till it was all over my shoes. It seemed like a waste to get all dirty and not get water so I kept going. Slime everywhere. I balanced on a slippy rock to dip my cup into the lake water. The water looked green. I filtered it twice and then boiled it to make my coffee.
The regular restrooms were locked but I found a pit toilet that was still open. Then I did the longest, slowest pack up and dawdle possible. My heart wasn’t in hiking at all. I wish I’d taken a day off in Ashland. It was the weekend. We could have gone to a Farmers Market. We could have rented bicycles! Oh gawd, I miss my bike. Why had I been in such a rush to leave?
My heart was not in it today.
Am I bored? Should I stop hiking? Is it time to think about how this all ends?
Then I saw the owl. It was a big owl. It shifted side to side while I took a photo, then it flew away. I love owls. Seeing such a big one, in the daytime, seemed like a good sign. A sign of what, I’m not sure. Wisdom? Luck?
In one section, there were signs nailed to every other tree. No trespassing! Stay on trail! On one of the tiny trail reflectors, someone printed They seem friendly in tiny letter, an arrow pointing towards the large house and motor home amongst the trees. This made me laugh almost hysterically.
I found a little black snake. It didn’t move. Maybe it was dead. I walked down to a spring and it was dry. I’d already passed two good water sources. Should’ve filled up back there, dumdum. It could be another 8 miles to the next source. I need to start being aware of water again.
I crossed paths with some old guys who all asked some variation of “How far ya going? Where’d ya start?” Hiking PCT is like Congress. Mostly it’s white dudes, sometimes young and hip but usually old.
Mt. Shasta was visible and suddenly I had cell service. It’s like the mountain is one big antennae. For the aliens. That ambassador from Venus I read about. Anyway, thanks for the podcast downloads.
It was a full moon. I kept hiking with an eye open for werewolves.
I got to the South Brown Mountain Shelter, which is a proper cabin with four walls and a roof. Almost a door. It’s a flap made of heavy plastic, which moves in the wind and actually is really creepy. Why can’t there be a proper door to keep the werewolves out? A big heavy wooden one with a wrought iron latch. Is that too much to ask for?
I made my bedroll on the dirt floor. Some tiny animal scurried around in the firewood. Would it chew my food bag? Run across my face? I played some podcasts, hoping the noise would keep my tiny companions away.