Blog Archive

Sunday, August 10, 2014

That day when we were eaten alive and everything sucked

Day 27 7/9
Mileage 16.5
Camped at Pipe Lake, unfortunately

We awoke at our campsite by Anderson Lake, and made our way south. We quickly encountered butt-tons of snow, which slowed us considerably. The mountains were steep and dramatic. All day, we were rewarded with splendid views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, and for the first time, Mt. St. Helens. Oregon is in sight! The scenery changed around noon, and snow fields gave way to lush meadows and dry forest, with herds of deer and elk prancing about. It was all very pretty. We ascended again and the meadows became smaller, transitioning to a system of ponds and streams. These ponds looked like maybe they were supposed to be meadows, and the streams looked like they definitely weren't usually streams. It was hot, the snow was melting fast, and there was water everywhere. Really everywhere. A river cascaded down the middle of the trail and from the hillsides around us. This soggy mushy place was a veritable mosquito factory. Everything was warm, moist, and stagnant. The next few hours of this day will live forever in infamy in my memory. Were I to try to describe the hordes of malicious little bloodsuckers that terrorized us as we hiked, and the unfathomable swarms that awaited us at our campsite, you would scoff. My description would use most of the superlatives I know, and might sound unbelievable. They were so bad that I swatted no less than eight (yes, I counted) in one go. When we got into camp, we immediately jumped in the lake, sheltering underwater from the black clouds that surrounded us. Kyle didn't even bother to take his shoes off first. After putting on our rain gear underwater, we did our camp things and hung out in my tent for a while. Maybe a hundred mosquitoes perched on the netting, mindless zombies ogling the delicious meal they couldn't quite reach. Even now, as I lay in my tent on my stomach, I can hear them, trying to get in on this hiker action. I feel I will never get the sound out of my head. Hopefully they will have subsided by the morning. On a lighter note, we saw a marten today! (S)he was perched on a tree, watching us from about 30 feet away. Cute little guy. Also, I was hiking alone and a little zoned out earlier today, so I straighten my elbows, holding out my trekking poles, and pretended I was a robot. It kept me entertained far longer than it should have. Who knows where my mind will end up after a few more months of this. 

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