Miles: 18.66
Camping: PCT mile 969.02

Blisster and I were the first to wake up, and we quietly made breakfast. It’s nice to be back on trail, and with friends. We want to do 20 miles today, which for me means getting out of camp early. As everyone else was waking up, I told them I would see them down the trail; I had to start moving. We had been discussing haiku last night, so I spent the better part of the morning composing some in my head. Here is a sample:

Incessant buzzing
Bloodsucking monsters must die
I declare a war

We all met up at the first watering hole before moving forward. I walked with CrackerJack, and we talked about our families. He is a retired coal miner from Germany and has an interesting story to tell. I really have to think about what I’m saying when we talk, as the language barrier can be interesting. It’s been working great though, he’s learning more English, and I a bit of German. I’m terrible at German.

We stopped for lunch next to a waterfall and waited for the others to catch up. While we were sitting there, the wind came along and swept one of my socks down the river. I watched it float away as CrackerJack jumped up and ran down river to head it off. He successfully saved my sock, and the day as it were. He then learned the word, “chivalry,” and I now don’t have to rotate between 3 socks. When the others showed up, we enjoyed lunch with laughter, but realized we have a lot of miles still to do and we better hustle.

We put in our headphones to avoid the delay caused by conversing on trail and made like the wind. CrackerJack and I got so far ahead that by afternoon break (which I now call “afternoonsies”) we didn’t see any of our friends. We kept on moving though, thinking they would catch up in camp. Eventually Polar Bear and Blisster caught up to us at a water stop, but still no sign of the girls. We all made the difficult climb over Benson Pass just shy of dinner time and it ended up being quite the trek. Saving passes for the end of the day is my least favorite thing, but sometimes it’s the way the day works out.

CrackerJack, Polar Bear, Blisster and I arrived at Smedberg Lake first and found a great camping spot. We set up tents and began making dinner soon realizing that we were still missing the rest of the group. I was the only remaining lady among the tramps…but at least they are a nice group of tramps. The mosquitoes were absolutely terrible, so we all had to don our headnets and eat our dinner while walking around camp to escape their obnoxious presence. This spot would be idyllic if not for them. For dessert I put a handful of peanut M&M’S in my bug net and played the comedic game of trying to eat them without hands, much like the cup and ball game. There is a video of this in Polar Bear’s possession which I hope to obtain at some point.

In the meantime, I escape the mosquitoes by hanging out in my tent. The buzzing continues, but I am content.