Mile reached: 1976.2 (+40.9)
High: Catching “Gandalf” and “Sherlock Holmes” and hiking with them throughout the day.
Low: Waking up to the constant hum of mosquitoes
Gandalf’s Guide to Oregon: Fuck Oregon and nuke it from orbit.
Camping at Stormy Lake was reminiscent of camping near the wind turbines of Southern California. However, instead of the low drone of the blades there was the constant hum of mosquitoes lurking just outside my tent. There must have been 200 gathered on my tent when I woke up. After working up the courage to leave the safety of my tent, it was a race to get things stuffed in my pack. Many mosquitoes lost their lives, but they were all too happy to win a war of attrition. As soon as my pack was snapped shut, I took off at a run down the trail to escape the swarm.
For the entire morning, the trail meandered between ponds. There were mosquitoes everywhere, and stopping, even just for a moment, meant that the mosquitoes would be everywhere on you. Eventually, after bottoming out the trail began an ascent of an old cinder cone, which was far enough from water that the mosquito menace was tolerable. On top I found “Gandalf” and “Sherlock Holmes” spread out eating lunch. So, I joined them.
The afternoon was comparatively mosquito free. The water sources were running, since they were glacially fed from the Sisters. There was even a beautiful waterfall cascading over obsidian rock. Since we wanted to get to town early the next day, we continued to hike even into the night. On the bright side the sunset was spectacular, but around North Sister the trail turned to loose lava rock. So, there was plenty of bitching all the way to camp. Then, there were also some mosquitoes at camp, so the bitching continued until we fell asleep. Hopefully, the backpackers camped nearby weren’t greatly offended by our comments.