PCT Day 75 – Red Lake

16.0 miles, near 1789.4

• Woke up to see Carie using her sleeping bag upside down… guess she got a little confused last night (she had some wine 😆)

• I took my gaiters off yesterday next to my bag, and now I can only find one. Somehow it walked off or I’ll find it wedged in some weird place of my backpack in a week.

• I was all packed and ready to hike, but the group decided to get breakfast before leaving, so we sat and waited an hour until they opened for breakfast. Ordering and eating took another 2 hours, of course, and then we had to road walk back to the trail, so we didn’t start hiking until noon.

• While we waited for the restaurant to open, I walked down to the beach because it was chilly in the shade. This area features a lot of volcanic rock, it was cool to see the red pumice lava rock below the lapping water.

• Aunt Barb and Phil showed up around 930am to pick up Carie. Her food just came out of the kitchen, so we boxed it up and loaded her bag in the trunk. She’s going to have her foot looked at by the urgent care in Ashland, then we will know what we’re working with and how to proceed. In the meantime, I am continuing forward with the group.

• More forest hiking today. Trying to make the best of it, but it is pretty monotonous. Without our maps, we would never know there’s a huge snowcapped Mt McLoughlin towering over us, because we can hardly get any gaps in the trees. We had one view of it late this afternoon as the trail turned east.

• We stopped for lunch at Squaw Lake, a half mile off trail. The mosquitoes at this point became relentless. Even if we were moving, they would find your exposed skin. Nibbler and Bradley setup their tents by the water and 4 of us piled in to eat in relative peace. Yardsale and God of War went swimming, I waded in to wash the dirt off my legs and feet. We also talked to a random guy there who was just testing some gear on a 1 night backpacking excursion.

• The rest of the afternoon was relatively easy, stopping at a spring for water. I am so grateful I bought a head net for the bugs because it is saving me right now. My long sleeve shirt works pretty well but they can still bite through my back, and my base layer leggings seem to be impenetrable.

• The mosquitoes at camp are by far the worst I’ve ever seen or experienced. As soon as you stop moving, there’s 20 on your legs. I setup my tent and meticulously got everything inside, item by item. Even though I was careful, I still needed to kill a dozen once I got inside.

• We joked about pooping in a bag inside the tent, because squatting outside seems unimaginable right now.

• On a very sad note, Carie texted me that her sprained ankle is actually a fracture, and she needs 6-8 weeks to heal, so she obviously can’t continue hiking. I don’t know what will happen next.

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