Just Dave caught up with me in the store where he told me that the cleaning crew walked in on him in the bathroom. Whoops! I didn't really expect them to be that fast in getting the room cleaned. Sorry about that, Dave! He also told me that they were shocked--shocked!--at how clean the room already was. They thought it would be the worst room of all. Unfortunately, there's an element of truth to the term "hiker trash," and hikers aren't exactly famous for their cleanliness. Just Dave and I kept a clean ship, though, and the cleaners were stunned at the lack of dirt we left behind. Score one for the hikers! =) I do prefer to leave a good impression. I want people to welcome hikers rather than consider us a chore or a hassle. It's in our best interests!
|A couple of people fishing in this lake.|
The trail, in areas, was as slick as mud, because that's exactly what it was. Where there were no rocks, branches, leaves, needles, or anything on the trail for traction, it was like being on an ice rink, and I slipped and fell several times despite my best efforts. It was, in a word, annoying. Very annoying. The downhills were the worst.
Late in the morning, I ran into Turbo hiking southbound--another hiker I hadn't seen since Southern California.
"Turbo!" I shouted over the rain. "How are you?!"
|The trail was slick as mud--because that's what it was!|
He jumped up to the Canadian border after arriving at Old Station about three weeks earlier, worried that unless he jumped up and started hiking southbound, he wouldn't be able to complete the PCT before the snows drove him off. Looks like I would start to hit those to decided to flip-flop on a regular basis at this point, and I wondered who else I hadn't seen for months might be hiking southbound in my direction.
I told Turbo about the lodging at White Pass in case he was interested in staying there, and we continued on in our separate ways.
By late afternoon, the rain had finally stopped and even the tree snot finally stopped as well, so I managed to dry out by the end of the day. Well, mostly dried out. Below the knees my pants, socks, and shoes stayed wet since it would rub against the wet brush lining the trail. So the rain finally stopped, but it was replaced with a thick layer of fog cutting visibility dramatically.
But when I arrived, I found a homeless-looking guy trying to stay warm by a faltering fire. I know calling him "homeless-looking" is like the pot calling the kettle black, but after you've been on the trail long enough, you can notice little things that distinguish the two. This guy was wearing clothes that looked like they came from Wal-Mart, and he had a tarp erected across the fire that looked far too heavy for a thru-hiker to carry. He looked more like a militia member than a thru-hiker, and I got a bad feeling about him. He didn't say anything or do anything threatening--it just seemed like he was more likely on the trail to evade the law than because of a love for the trail.
I only went a couple of more miles before finally setting up camp near Anderson Lake. It had a nice view, and even a couple of small sun breaks started to peek out. I still set up my tarp in case the rain started again or condensation would be a problem. Either seemed like a very real possibility.
Just Dave didn't catch up to me, and I wouldn't see him again for the rest of the trail. I was a little disappointed--it was nice having him around. =) Oh, well, there would be other hikers ahead. There always were! I cooked dinner from inside my sleeping bag--it was getting cold out at night now. The day wasn't particularly warm, but nights were getting downright cold.
|These logs were so wet and slippery, I just walked directly through the|
water instead. My feet were already wet anyhow, and falling off the log
would have gotten me a LOT more wet than just walking through the water.
|A couple of horses at a horse camp along the trail.|
|Late in the afternoon, the sun managed to peek through in a couple of places.|
|Anderson Lake. Camping along the shore was prohibited, but there was an|
officially designated campsite a short ways behind me where I set up for the night.