Didn’t sleep well yet again. This was in part due to the dogs at or near the RV park barking at random things, which I was thinking could be a bear and in part due to traffic at the nearby road, California 95. I was slow to get going, so I didn’t totally get the head start that I was hoping for.
After a mile or so of road walking the normal trail resumed and wasted no time in getting the 4500 feet out of the valley. Expectedly there was lots of poison oak, so I was wearing my tights, which was warm already in the early morning. Luckily, however, due to the steep climb, the poison oak didn’t linger on for long, and the climb didn’t feel as strenuous as expected.
I had lunch next to a spring with another hiker, who I had briefly crossed paths with earlier in the day, in fact he was the only person I would see on trail until the evening. It was “Fiddy shrimp”, who are not to be confused with the rapper “Fiddy (50) Cent”. He was a man perhaps in his late forties, who had hiked the Appalachian Trail some time ago and part of the PCT last year. He was taking things at a lot more relaxed than I was. He had been planning to hike out yesterday, so he had waited for the store restaurant to open and would never leave before like I had done. After breakfast he felt like having lunch, so he stayed for that and eventually hiked out a bit in the evening. I said that I was admiring his ability to take things easy. It is something ai have been bad at here on trail and even more so in real life. I don’t know if real life are the words I would like to use, as this certainly also seem very real to me, so non-trail life might be better.
The nature was similar to what the trail had shown the last couple of days with the exception that much more of the trail was a recent burn area, maybe two thirds of the trail. I saw a squirrel which was almost black from all the soot. One cool thing though, was a lake that I saw in the distance and It looked like it was covered with hundreds of lily ponds. A bit later I saw a trail leading to “Lily Pond Lake”, so I guess my eyes weren’t betraying me. The sky was blue most of the day, but intermittently a thick haze rolled in like containing smoke from the fires north of the trail. Not much smell of fire and not as bad as the day before Seiad Valley.
In the afternoon I got quite tired and tried to take a power nap, but to no avail, as I couldn’t fall asleep. I still felt a bit more awake afterwards, though.
Around six pm I had only done twenty miles, which I found quite underwhelming, but I didn’t feel like hiking on. I don’t know how that happened and I don’t think it was just because there was so much elevation gain. Might be lack of sleep or psychological. The second hiker I met today unfortunately took the best camping site, but mine is also okay. It is next to “Bear Dog Spring“ whatever that is supposed to mean. Hopefully I will get some sleep and be better tomorrow. I have to average twenty five miles the next two days to get to town, so it is not like my plan is ruined.
This days miles: 1656-76