Miles: 22.75
Camp: CDT mile 895
Elevation at camp: 11500 feet

And I am sure one would be able to enter a theological debate on the title of this blog…but right now I don’t want to hear it. Mosquitoes are most definitely a mistake made by whomever/whatever is responsible for their creation. A great big cosmic, “oops!!”

That said, I cruised mile after mile without so much as a break to catch my breath or drink water. Every moment was taken over by incessant buzzing, swarming and not even the hint of a breeze. I went 9 miles before I simply had to stop moving for a moment. I stopped mid trail holding my breath, and after only a couple of the nasty creatures buzzed right into my open palm I decided it was momentarily safe. I sat down and stuffed my face with bars and snacks while I had the chance.

Soon enough I was hiking through clouds of them again. I decided to practice Zen being, accepting the fact that they were there and there really is little I can do. I’m actually quite lucky because even though they bite me (occasionally), I’m not allergic to their saliva, so I don’t get the itchy raised bumps. I don’t wear repellent and they are really more of a nuisance than anything else. I kept it positive as I hiked on, and it really helped!

I got to my mileage goal for lunch as a storm was blowing through nearby. It was a very boisterous storm, thunder and lightning frequently accompanying the dark clouds. The storm was across a valley from where I sat, so I was able to sit and enjoy my tuna tortilla while watching the impressive light show. There was a lot of lightning, and I was glad it was at a constant distance. I tried to get a picture of lightning, but it didn’t oblige.

I also got a signal and intended to call the hostel in town to make a reservation. Instead I was informed that my dear friend Polar Bear has a stress fracture! She is off trail for 2 months! I was so sad to hear the news and really frustrated for her. She is a tough lady and has pushed through some seriously uncomfortable hiking only to have her perseverance paid off with an injury that will take her off trail. It is a bit scary that it can happen to any of us, a reminder to stay aware of the needs of the body. A reminder that none of us are invincible. I’m going to miss the lovely Polar Bear, her wit, her sheer joy and appreciation of the world around us…but I know she will snap back. She is tough like that.

Now I’m laying in my tent that is covered in mosquitoes, a full belly, town on the agenda tomorrow. The trail was especially rocky today making for frustrating progress, but I’m happy with what I accomplished. I’m happy to be here, mosquitoes and all.

Dinner: refried beans with corn, 2 kinds of jerky, cous cous, parmesan cheese, goats milk (I buy it powdered) and coconut oil.

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View from the loo (reenactment)
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