PCT mile 1549.3, 25.2 Miles, 7-8-17
Here is a screenshot of the trail “North” of Mt Shasta:
Notice anything unusual? Holy shit. This is a great example of why California is 1600 miles. Sure, let’s spend a day going west, finally turn North, then immediately lose every bit of progress by walking SOUTH for a whole goddam day. Then North maybe? Nope. Nope. West again. I’ve been walking four days and I am still staring at the South side of Mt Shasta. Amazing. It’s cool PCT. Not like I have to bust my ass every single day now in order to get to the border by September 5th. It really would be a shame if I was able to get even a modicum of enjoyment or relaxation in at all. This is a good use of time, really great. Bravo PCT. You’ve really outdone yourself on this one. Also loved how you switched from miles to km on all your trail signs in this section. Way to keep it fresh you fucking hipster. I get it. The English system is shit. We all know it. It was probably just invented by the Brits to confuse the hell out of whatever country they politely invaded and colonized. Everybody else is done with it, but not us. It even survived the 1970s metric putsch. Stuff that makes sense? No thank you! Murica! But can we get some consistency here PCT? No? Oh, ok cool sorry for asking. I’m sure you know best. Also, speaking of relaxing, these mosquitoes of yours keep swarming and biting me every time I try to take a break. I only get two of these on a good day so maybe turn it down a notch on the mosquitoe thing? What? Oh, instead your going to double the amount? Oh just double the agression? Oh ok double the amount and agression? Ok your the boss. Don’t want to rock the boat. I’ll just relish the fact that with every stride I am stepping directly on your face. Oh was that out loud?
Seriously though, these mosquitoes. Definitely my least favorite animal. Fuck em. I want them all to burn. And I consider myself an environmentalist. Would we miss them? Wouldn’t the frogs just eat some other bug instead? If you’re a staunch advocate of no non natural interference in ecosystems consider this: nature created people so, in a way, its doing all this horrible shit to itself. You see what these little bloodsuckers are doing to me? They are making me try to rationalize species eradication. I just hate them so much.
A few miles after leaving camp we stopped at a stream to filter water. “I’m feeling weird” Sarah said. This was worrisome. I hoped she wasn’t getting sick again. She meant it literally though. She then got weird and stayed weird for the rest of the morning. She passed some of the time by misquoting fractions of songs, one of her favorite pastimes. ” Even heroes have the right to fly….” she crooned, slightly off key. I suggested that I could trim my hair and beard the next time we zeroed. She did a complete 180 on me and said that I shouldn’t. Just last evening she was looking at me with her hand if front of my face at such an angle that it would hide my beard from her site. “It’s just….why?” She bemoaned. “It’s like the bottom half of your face doesn’t exist…..It’s like your some kind of forest creature or something….” she said, wrinkling her nose a little in disgust. Now she was demanding I keep it. She was also under the false hope that my growing hair would make me look like Bradley Cooper. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my face would remain the same. Switching gears, she suggested I shave my hair to create a mullet or Mohawk. I refused. “So Boring” she sighed “sometimes I forget you’re 39 until something so boring comes out of your mouth.”
As we started off again my legs began to wobble underneath me. This happens a lot now. After a few minutes, they are back to normal. It doesn’t hurt. It just seems as if, while I was getting water, my legs had pounded five gin and tonics. Come on legs, get it together. I thought. You should be the getting it together one bubby. You’ve the problem man . Lighten up MOM. I’m sssorry, I thought thisss was America! My legs slurred back at me.
We passed some time listening to a podcast. Unfortunately, I was all out of This American Lifes and all we had was Sarah’s Feminist Podcast. The first segment was about how one of the hosts had walked her dog and was annoyed by men giving her dog walking advice. She claimed that if she had a baby, and some man told her how to raise it, she would stab him in the face. The next segment was an interview in which the hosts told a male comedian how to raise his daughter for an hour. Very empowering stuff.
We stopped in for lunch at an idyllic alpine lake. As we were eating, Sarah asked who I would bite first if I was a werewolf. “Don’t werewolf just bite indiscriminately?” I asked. She didn’t like this. She was upset that I wasn’t treating the question seriously enough. “That’s not an answer.” She said. “Well I guess it would be you, since your the only one around.” I said. This answer was also unsatisfactory. “Hey, maybe I should go as a werewolf for Halloween if I am keeping the hair. I could be the cool werewolf from Teenwolf I would just need some hair tufts, shades and a letterman’s jacket.” I said. “Oh yeah a cool werewolf would be good. It’s good to dress up like something you aren’t.” She said. “Get it. Because you’re not cool.” She added, unnecessarily. I did. I got the joke.
On our way to our tent site, we came upon a yearling deer laying on the trail. It looked at us as we approached. When we got within ten feet, she begrudgingly got up and casually walked up the side hill, stopping in fifteen feet to chew on some brush as we passed.We made a long day of it and didn’t get to camp until 730. A couple were already camped there so we tried our best to set up camp and eat quietly, while a lone coyote howled down in the valley below.