7/21/17 – Mosquito Paradise
Miles: 1,770.70 to 1,789.48
(Plus 2 miles from Fish Lake Resort back to trail)
Total miles hiked: 1,205.61
The morning welcomed us with its so far typical morning chill. It sucks to rise from your warm sleeping bag at 5:00 a.m. and pack with your hands freezing but the cold mornings are a promise of a reasonable temperature during day so in a way the chill made me happy.
After 2 miles of walking from Fish Lake Resort, we reconnected with PCT and crossed Hwy 140. We’ve heard horror stories about the mosquitoes past this point and at first we were happy that the stories were unfounded. There were few bugs but not nearly enough to be worried about them.
The trail was friendly too. We somewhere gained 800 feet in the four miles. The gain must have been distributed very evenly over the distance because it never felt like we were climbing.
Couple more hundred feet up and we started a long descend towards spring, still about 8.5 miles away, our first water source.
Our cruising down the hill was cut short by a downed tree blocking the trail. Soon afterwards there was another. And more, and more, and more.
We lost at least 20 minutes on that stretch dealing with the obstacles but luckily there still was not a significant amount of skeeters around which was pleasant.
Situation changed after lunch. The trail was getting progressively worse and mosquitoes started appearing in large numbers. They were swarming around us, landing and biting even when we moved. I practically run down the trail and it still was not fast enough to prevent being eating by the bloodthirsty buggers. Any time we slowed down for a fallen log, our battle was lost even more.
Then the trail turned uphill and I could no longer maintain that speed. At that point we had about 50 bugs constantly hovering around us, making frequent attacks.
We surrendered to a thought that camping will really suck tonight. We imagined we would set out tent up and escape in it for the entire evening but things changed for better once we left the deep forest.
On one of the apps we are using, someone made a comment about a site in a clearing where last year there were surprisingly only few mosquitoes. This site was within our mileage for today, on the lower side but when we got there and Wild Flower, section hiker already camped there confirmed the lack of bugs, most likely due to a light breeze going through this little more open area, we decided to join her.