July 19th, 2018
Mm 2452 to Waptus River mm 2428
Distance: 24 miles
The day got off to a rough start but ended as a really good one, mostly bug-free! It was another stay-inside-tent morning and I was on trail by 7 am, running downhill to escape the cloud of bugs. The mountains were pretty socked in but I could tell that it was clearing, just like the day before. The cool morning was a nice break from the heat.
I saw my first snake on the trail..a harmless garter. It gave me a start anyways. Later I saw a deer. I also found some ripe huckleberries. Then there was a trail maintenance crew cutting deadfall with their headnets on. I thanked them profusely for their work, especially in such miserable conditions given the bugs.
Through much of the day, I was suffering from menstrual cramps, which doesn’t help when trying to walk over 20 miles. I finally caved, took a pain killer and felt much better. Just another annoyance.
I had lunch at a creek, where I met Beamer and Bearhair, 2 SOBO ladies. I also passed about 15 backpackers going north, some of which looked like thru-hikers. They are the ones moving at high speed and look like they don’t have time to stop and talk.
One guy had binoculars and was definitely taking his time section hiking. We had a nice chat about the birds and plants. It’s nice to meet hikers that really take in their surroundings. I am guilty of a fast pace but I love to stop to watch animals and try to identify plants. It’s the biologist in me.
Another aquamarine lake guarded by mountains.
I walked until after 6 pm but the long day was worth it. I came to the Waptus river and found a beautiful, mostly mosquito-free Oasis. The river was so clear and pretty, moving too swiftly for the ilks of mosquito larvae. Better still, I perched my tent on top of a bluff, where it also benefited from a stiff breeze.
There were still a few hearty mossies that found me up there but they were easy to fend off. I was able to have dinner outside and enjoy my surroundings. I was all by myself but feeling very content with life. It was nearly a perfect campsite and I slept soundly, save for the occasional gust of wind. There was a fine layer of silt over everything the next morning but it’s a small price to pay for no bugs.