Day 90: 7/7/14, PCT Mile 986.4

Miles hiked: 13.1
Camped at: creek past Macomb Ridge Pass with Cat Burglar and Firestarter

Today was the first day I “deet-ed up” immediately upon getting out of my tent this morning. Bug net was on my head the majority of the day as well. Needless to say, laziness and fear of the mosquitos is winning tonight – I just dropped 2 of my “back-up” aqua-Mira water treatment tabs into my water instead of using my Steripen on it all – which would require me to leave the sanctuary of my tent. My wonderful wonderful tent. How glad I am that the loaner currently with me zips well!!

A half marathon today – not that impressive, at first glance, considering I’m trying to do 15+ mile days (and had originally planned for more) but boy am I exhausted tonight. The 13.1 miles was filled with steep climb after steep descent after climb, etc. Into one valley and out over a pass into the next, though I didn’t go much above 9000 feet. A total of 3850 feet of elevation gain and about the same loss. Especially after a night of not sleeping well (hot, then cold, etc) and I was moving at the speed of molasses today, oy! Thankfully for my overheating issues the weather has been overcast, though it has been a bit, dare I say it, humid. It even rained for about half an hour, which really helped me up the second thousand foot climb after lunch. I reminisced briefly about the AT – a steep rocky climb in the rain! But where oh Where did my lovely graded PCT go??

Firestarter and Cat Burgler caught up to me on the first climb this morning as I got a slightly later than normal start. It was so nice to leapfrog with them all day! We chose the first campsite past the last pass (of the 3 we climbed today) with water – and this creek is pretty stagnant but such is my tiredness that I don’t really care. I was thrilled to finish just before 5pm and dive into my tent to avoid the ever present mosquitos. An early bedtime for me today, that’s for sure! Especially considering I’m nodding off writing this, and it’s not even 7pm yet. A hard day, but ever closer to 1000 miles!

Health wise, other than being mentally humbled by this section, I’m doing pretty good! Cough is getting better, and my right knee twingy-ness is pretty good, too. I just may have to resign myself to joining the Vit I club until the hike is over. IIRC, it was at about 900 miles on the AT last year that 1-2 / day started helping with the accumulated little aches and pains.

Post script – 8pm and I’m glad I stashed my bear canister and “used the facilities” when I did! One of my favorite sounds when falling asleep – rain (actual rain!) on my tent fly for the first time on the entire hike. I’m hoping, though, that the PCT stays true to form and it stops overnight so I don’t have to pack up a wet tent. That I don’t miss!

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