Mile reached: 1818.0 (+36.5)
High: It was a surprisingly social day on the trail, and I got to swap stories with “Gandalf” over lunch.
Low: So many mosquitoes despite so little water
I set my alarm for 5 am and tried to get on trail early, though I was still the last one out of camp (but not by much). Much to my dismay the mosquitoes were still patiently lurking just outside my tent, but as soon as I got on the trail they disappeared. However, in a few miles I reached one of the only water sources for the day. Recent comments indicated that the mosquitoes were bad there, and the mosquitoes did not disappoint. Many of us didn’t even attempt to filter our water there and justed collected it instead immediately followed by quickly running down the trail.
The sun started to rise and it seemed like there would be reprieve from the mosquitoes. Wrong. There were miles and miles of mosquitoes, and I sort of hopped down the trail swatting them. Eventually, the trail put out onto a sun exposed ridge and they disappeared.
Around lunchtime, I caught up to “Gandalf” again. We were also joined by a group of four that he had been hiking with. He and I both knew a lot of the same people on the trail, so we spent probably an hour swapping stories and learning what happened to various hikers. Apparently, I had already passed both “Baby Blanket” and “Backtrack”. “Baby Blanket” was burnt out by Mammoth and got off trail for a while. Conversely, “Backtrack” started pink blazing in Burney and waited for her to catch up.
The next 20 miles would be dry and go through burned forest. So, they all decided to only do 10 miles and were going to lazily spend the afternoon in the shade. Not keen on dry camping, I decided to try and knock the entire stretch out to finish the day in Crater Lake. So, we said goodbye and resolved to meet up for breakfast the next day.
Despite it being warm out, the miles weren’t brutal as I had expected. I wondered if it was because the air isn’t that dry. Even though it was long, I was going to make it all the way with plenty of water to spare. But then as with the flicking of a light switch it happened. The mosquitoes returned! I battled with them for a few miles, and also realized that I would have to pay to camp at Mazama Village. So, I called it a day three miles short of my goal.