Monday, February 3, 2020

Day 43: The Beginning of Something Bad....

August 27: I woke up to a beautiful morning, ate breakfast and packed up like usual. I took a brief detour a mile or so up the trail where the trail passed a horse camp and ranger cabin. The ranger cabin was locked up tight and nobody was camped nearby, but a sign pointed to a wilderness toilet and as rare as those are out here, I figured I should make use of it while I can.

Along the way, I ran into a deer. It was in the trees and shaded and I had trouble getting photos of it so early in the morning. The light just wasn't very good.

Then I did my thing on the toilet as the deer watched. Pervert!

The toilet was an open-air experience. No walls. Just a small stool to sit on over a hole in the ground. Everything went well, although I was a little surprised when the last half of the poop came out a little softer than I would have expected. Too much detail? Yeah, okay.... Probably....

Privacy was minimal, but the ventilation system was amazing!

Let's continue.... The trail through the Pasayten Wilderness continued to be in fairly good condition and I hiked the next four hours pretty much non-stop. Which was unusual--usually I would stop for a short break after two or three hours to grab a snack but I didn't feel particularly hungry so I just kept hiking.

The biggest obstacle was the huge burn area. There weren't a lot of blowdowns across the trail--thank goodness for small favors!--but the sun was warm and there was no escaping it. And sometimes, the trail was hard to see in severely burned areas. Much of the burn area looked like it could have happened last year and even flowers and vegetation hadn't grown back yet. So it was sometimes hard to distinguish between the trail and non-trail areas.

Then the trail descended 2000 feet to the Ashnola River which I had to ford. It wasn't a problematic ford. Maybe 6-8 inches deep with slow, languid water. The trail down to the creek was the biggest change in elevation since I had entered the Pasayten Wilderness.

I took a break by the creek, then started the long march back up the other side.

The ford wasn't a big deal. Just some wet feet but no real issue!

Late in the afternoon, I stopped by a creek under a single tree that had somehow managed to escape the wildfires so provided a small bit of shade. I was well ahead of schedule having taken few snack breaks and decided to lounge around until the shade moved and my position was in the sun again--which eventually took about two hours although I didn't know exactly how long it would be when I started my break.

But I felt like having a long break. I wasn't tired, but I kind of felt crappy all day. Not for any particular reason except for being tired of the trail. I had really enjoyed the scenery yesterday, but the burn area didn't excite me as much. And I was lonely. I hadn't seen a person all day. Not one, single person. (Nor would I see anyone the rest of the day--although I couldn't have known that at this time.)

To kill the time, I cooked one of my dinners, read a book and watched The Office on my phone while my solar charger was in the sun collecting all of that sunlight. May as make use of it while I could!

About two hours after I started my break, the shade from the tree left. It had been a good break. I enjoyed just sitting and relaxing and listening to the babbling brook. But I still had a few more miles to knock out for the day.

I took a two-hour break in the shade of that big tree on the left that managed to escape the wildfires.

The last few hours of hiking I felt really tired. I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep, but no.... I had a schedule to keep to! Onward! Always onward! I could take a nap when I reached camp.

I finally reached Dean Creek and my goal for the day, but it was in a heavily-burned area. The area looked like it could have burned just the week before. I didn't like the idea of camping under all of those tall and very dead trees, but I just felt so darned tired. I really didn't want to keep hiking who knows how far until I found a place to camp that wasn't in a burn area. I decided to set up camp anyhow. There was absolutely no wind or rain. The chances of one of the trees fallen down on me during the night seemed slim.

I wanted somewhere with shade to set up camp but there was absolutely none so I threw out my groundsheet in the sun then laid down and took a nap. I threw my fleece jacket over my head to avoid sunburns.

After sleeping for an hour, I felt a lot better. So much more refreshed! But now my stomach starting making some strange gurgling sounds like I should go do a poop. But I pooped this morning. I shouldn't need to do another one so soon. I was good until tomorrow.

I tried to ignore the unsettled feeling in my stomach but eventually I decided to hell with it. Just do another poop and get it done. At least I won't have to worry about it in the morning.

So I found a suitable place, squatted and... oh, the humanity! The horrible, horrible stuff that came out! To call it explosive diarrhea would have been a major understatement. This was bad. Really bad.

Suddenly all of the clues earlier in the day started flashing through my head. My poop this morning that started hard then ended surprisingly soft. My unusual lack of hunger. My feeling so unusually tired.

I was sick. And my next thought was, I really hope this isn't giardia.

Maybe it's one of those 24-hour flu kind of things. I hoped that was all it was. Maybe in the morning I'd feel better. Maybe in 24 hours. If I had giardia.... the next section of this trip was going to be pretty miserable....

My campsite had no shade so I threw my jacket over me to keep the sun off when I took a nap. I didn't want to wake up with a sunburn!
This was the pervert deer that watched me poop in the morning.
Ranger cabin

I was a little worried when I found this sign about trail closures due to wildfires. Then I realized it was from last year! *whew*
The bridge that used to cross this creek flipped over and sideways in a flood. Not very useful anymore!

What is that snow-covered peak in the distance? Hmm... (I really don't know!)


RedinSF said...

Oh no, I have to wait 2 days to find out how you fared? Hopefully okay!!

Anonymous said...

I experienced similar single seaters at Philmont Scout Ranch. Never had any deer or bear watch, luckily.

-the guy part of di and her guy