Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 170- Bucks Lake Wilderness

Day 170, 9/25/14
1259 to 1281
22 miles (plus 1 mile to 3 Lakes)

Woke to rain at 5 AM.  Got up and started hiking. Moving as fast as I could manage to stay warm.  But the trail turned into a river of mud so it was hard going.  Hands got cold.  Wind whipping.  A driving rain.
Morning rain.
The problem with hiking as fast as you can to stay warm in the rain is that eventually I need to stop.  I curled up under my umbrella while shoveling calories into my mouth and trying to give my feet a break.  But soon I was shivering so had to get moving.  The rain came down harder and the wind picked up. I started getting worried that I couldn't hike fast enough to avoid hypothermia.
At the turnoff for Bucks Lake, the road into town, the rain lessened. I ate some chocolate.  Could feel all my fingers and toes again- a good sign.  I debated whether to go dry out in town, maybe get hot food.  But I wanted to be out on the PCT, even in the rain.  The air smelled fresh, the colors of the moss and ferns and changing leaves were vibrant.  

And I had my first sighting of tree foam on the PCT!  Tree foam is an obscure phenomenon- bubbles are formed when water runs down the trunk of trees and picks up chemicals, and drips down.  Back east, I've seen it create basketball sized mounds of bubbles.  The ones I saw today were small but still made me happy.  The thing that I love about tree foam is that it reminds me of the benefits of getting out in all weather, that it's worth being cold and wet and uncomfortable because you get to see things that are unusual and wondrous.
Tree foam.
As I climbed to the Silver Lake trail junction, the rain clouds moved through and the sun came out.
Rain clouds passing.
I had cell phone reception at an overlook, so I got to call my Grandpa and wish him a happy 90th birthday.  Yay!
Front moving on through.
The rest of the day was cold but gorgeous.  This section is really different but has a beauty all it's own.
Lakes far below.
The trail over to 3 Lakes was only 1/2 mile, so I went to check them out.  They were mostly dry and full of old tree stumps.  No swimming for me.  Guess it was a reservoir that had been logged first before building the dam.  In fading light, with more storm clouds moving in, it was decidedly eerie.
3 Lakes.
Now bundled in my down quilt, hanging in my hammock, I'm finally warming up.  Being cold all day took a lot I out of me.  I'm tucked in the shelter of trees in the lee of a rock face cause looks like more rain is on the way.

Today was the second day in a row I haven't seen a single person.  

1 comment:

  1. The happy birthday from the PCT is still on the answering machine. We listen to it lots. It's really special!