Pct mile: 1770.9, 29.1 miles,7-19-17
We awoke to a cacophony of geese and crows and packed up our things. We took bets on when Fluffy would pass us. We both bet on some time in the early afternoon. Fluffy gets up at around 530 every morning and hikes 30 miles before 5. We once mentioned to him that we had never done 10 miles before ten am and, judging by the half incredulous half shocked look on his face,I thought he might pass out on the spot. We would later learn later that day that he had already passed us before we even packed up.
Somewhere around eleven I stopped to adjust the belt on my backpack, which was digging painfully into my waist. Sarah passed me and was out of sight for a short distance. As I was catching back up to her in a clearing, I rounded a corner and heard her yell ” there is a bear” as she pointed to the woods above me. I could hear fallen branches loudly crunching but couldn’t see it. Sarah said the bear must have been spooked by something because it came sprinting out of the trees onto the trail 30 feet in front of her, slowed a bit and made eye contact, then kept running. It happened so quick she didn’t have time to be afraid. I was a little jealous that I missed the bear encounter. My moment with a friendly lizard several weeks before would have to suffice for now.
It was my hope that we could make it in to Fish Lake Resort for dinner. Sarah, not wanting to say no outright, suggested she was open to the idea, with a few caveats. First, we could not arrive too early, otherwise it would be a waste of time we would need to spend walking. Secondly, we could not arrive too late as there was concern the waitstaff would be miffed to serve us too close to closing. Camping nearby was also not an option because it we should not wait around for the store to open. So, as long as we did not arrive anytime in a the morning, afternoon or evening; we were good to go. I prepared myself for another trail dinner of rehydrated noodles.
The day was mostly just forests, except a small stretch of rockslides and lava rock. In this section we came upon two older ladies sitting on camping chairs with quilts draped over their legs, occupying a small tent site. They warned us about devils ridge, an upcoming snowfield. They suggested that we should have spikes and ice axes. I laughed a little inside. Lady, do you have any idea where I have been? I thought. I thanked them for there advice and moved on.
We camped that evening near a mosquito infested creek next to a paved highway with plenty of semi traffic. Lt Dan, Peanut, Joe Dirt and Rodeo camped with us. Somehow, we had managed to hike our farthest day: 29 miles. Fluffy was nowhere to be found. He had left a message spelled in sticks: “fluffy resort”. He was living my dream.