PCT Days 88 - 94
Endless woodland-walking day. No major uphills. No major downhills. No significant river crossings. Hideously heavy pack though to carry me through the next eight days.
Only if this carries on, I'll get there in seven - only 99 miles until I can jettison the loathsome Bear Canister - a ridiculous contraption because I can only fit my dinner into it. Breakfast and lunch are, as always, in plastic bags at the bottom of my rucksack!
Read on Facebook yesterday regarding this section that he'd only got his feet wet three times. I reckon he must be Jesus reincarnated - by mid-morning my feet had plunged through icy streams no less than 33 times. By the end of the day, about 3,333 times. It seems all the snow is spontaneously melting on me.
On the plus, however, I have traversed two mountain passes in one day: Island Pass, a mere 10,200 footer, and Donahue - the last of the giants at 11,000 foot. Go me and my soggy feet!
The halfway through day - and what a way to celebrate with the trail being long, flat and twenty-two miles in duration through the utterly stunning Yosemite National Park - the home of Yogi Bear.
This takes me to mile 955 - although I'd hoped to have surpassed mile 1,000 at this point, I feel I can still handle the deficit, but it does demand that I do 565 every thirty days in order to get to Canada without being an illegal alien. That's a 19 mile a day trek, and no rest days!
I am told not to panic. To be honest, I'm too knackered most of the time to bother running around waving my arms around in the air shrieking loudly.
A disappointing 15-miler today, over a fairly easy 10,000 foot pass. I just had no oompf - I'm putting it down to fetid mosquitoes sucking all the life blood out of me. They have appeared now that I'm getting down to a more 'reasonable' altitude - 8,500ft - nearly double Ben Nevis I learn.
Aside from losing a pint of blood to the suckers, I did a body audit of my physical well-being but got bored of writing out my legion of injuries and pain. It's easier to work out which body part doesn't hurt, itch or aggravate right now. Anyway, there's over 16 separate ailments currently, excluding the 2,155 mosquito bites. My favourite is a sceptic, and thus very swollen, middle finger on my left hand. Sadly, there's no one around to offend with it.
I have discovered the secret to getting up and down mountains quickly: mosquitoes. The ones I have encountered today are the worst in the history of entomology. They have plagued me relentlessly all day, and seem immune to insect repellent. Worse, they have such long pricks they can penetrate my waterproof trousers.
I even resorted to cooking in my tent - usually a big no-no, because, you know: Bears! Here they are queuing for dinner...
Mud, mud, mud. Mosquitoes. More mud. More mosquitoes. Mud up to my knees. More squelch. More mosquitoes. Mozzies. Mounds of mozzies. Mounds of mud. Passed 1,000 miles. More mud. More mosquitoes. Miserable. Left the absolutely stunning Yosemite too.
Plodded up a desolate, barren mountain. Bimbled across several ridgelines, stomped down a different mountain slope with too many icy fields, some horribly angled. Sweet-talked two guys into giving me a hitch to Kennedy Meadows North, where I laundered, showered, ate two full American-sized meals in three hours, bought a ton of food for the next stint, and jettisoned my much-despised bear canister - all before bed!