Friday, November 8, 2019

Day 6: Wasps! Wasps! Everywhere!

July 21: I woke up bright and early. There was no rain during the night--a good thing too because it was the first time I cowboy camped on the trail--but the condensation was heavy so I did have to deal with some wet gear.

Most of the day was on proper trail which was a nice change from yesterday, although there were a couple of short road walks. Being on a trail, though, the terrain was a lot rougher with a lot more ups and downs. I planned to do at least 15 miles but if I could push myself further, I intended to.

At one point, the trail came out to a short road walk and I started walking down the road in the wrong direction. I figured out my mistake quickly but lost 10 minutes of time and it's always annoying when you realize that you wasted precious energy walking in the wrong direction.

Nine miles into the day's hike, I stopped at the last reliable water source for 14 miles at 10:30 in the morning. It was an awkward place for water. I had little chance of making it the entire 14 miles to the next water source by nightfall which meant I needed to carry a boat load of water. I stopped and cooked dinner despite it still being late in the morning. Cooking required water and cleaning my pot afterward also required water which was easy to do when I was at a creek with unlimited water. I'd eat snacks later in camp instead of dinner which didn't require any water.

And the wasps swarmed around me! They weren't stinging me--so yea for that!--but they were an annoyance that would follow me for the rest of the day. Every time I stopped for more than 10 seconds, they'd swarm and buzz around my head. Leave me alone!

After eating my dinner and cleaning my dish, I loaded up with 3.5 liters of water. At 2.2 pounds per liter, that was an extra 7.7 pounds of weight on my back. Ugh! But I needed enough to get me through the rest of the day, overnight, and much of the morning the next day. If weight weren't an issue, I'd have carried even more. I like drinking water on the trail! Lots and lots of water! I would have to ration myself a bit.

I saw absolutely zero hikers the entire day, and just a few cars on the short road walks along gravel forest service roads. They drove by slowly, but none stopped to chat which was fine with me.

A couple of miles of the trail had quite a few blowdowns I had to get around and over which annoyed me. In hindsight, they weren't very memorable. I thought it was bad then, but I didn't know what a bad case of blowdowns really looked like. No, not yet I didn't....

I wound up putting in 18.9 miles for the day--much further than I thought I would do by morning. The lack of water really pushed me onward. I wanted to get as close to the next water source as possible so I could access it as early in the day as possible the next morning.

Today was also the first day it didn't rain at all the entire day! Glorious Pacific Northwest summer weather had finally arrived! =) Oddly enough, I kind of wished for a little rain overnight. I could have captured some of the water running off from my tarp and splurged.

I set up camp at the trail junction for Whale Lake. The PNT didn't go back Whale Lake. It was only a half-mile or so off the trail but down several hundred feet. I could get water, but I just did not want to go a half-mile off trail down hundreds of feet to get water. I wasn't that desperate for water. Nope, I would camp along the side of the trail at the trail junction.

I laid out my groundsheet with the intention of cowboy camping and a few minutes later a group of four mountain bikers arrived from up the Whale Lake Trail. I chatted with them for several minutes--my first and only conversation with actual people all day--then they continued on.

The wasps at the campsite were so annoying, I finally put earplugs in to get some peace and quiet. I thought they'd be useful if I camped near snorers, but the only thing I had used them for so far were wasps!

As the sun set, the wasps finally went away, but they were replaced by mosquitoes which wasn't a trade up by any stretch. *grumbling* Stupid mosquitoes. I put my head down into my sleeping bag so they couldn't bite me and muffle the sound of their buzzing.

Long after it dark the bugs finally left me alone to sleep. *yawn*

It was here where I took a wrong turn and hiked in the wrong direction for about 5 minutes. (I turned left down the road when I was supposed to right.)

The mountains that make up Glacier National Park are still in view behind me! It seems amazing to me that I was in them just yesterday. I walked that whole distance! In about 24 hours! On foot! Wow! =)
The wildflowers in sunny areas were wonderful!
The wasps drove me crazy all day, but at least they didn't sting!

There were quite a few blowdowns on a couple of miles of the trail which is always an annoyance.
I thought this was a pretty feather! =)
My campsite for the night. Cowboy camping again! =)

1 comment:

Karolina said...

If I had to chose between wasps and mosquitoes, I’d go for the latter. I am so afraid of wasp sting!