Day 112 7-15-07 Tarp Tent 6200′
40N30 Road – Masterton Meadow Lake
31.8 miles; 1563 (59.36) total miles; 3424.66 trip miles
90’s; Sunny, windy
Deer count is 91
Marmot count is 51
Rattlesnake count is 6
Bear count is 5
Pika count is 2
!!!The Rattlesnakes made a bold late day move and moved past the sleeping Bears. By doing so, they have taken the Bronze and a spot on the podium!!!
Once again, I got up late. This time it was around the same time as yesterday, 6:20. I didn’t worry about it since I knew it was going to be an easier day than yesterday. I also figured my body is trying to tell me something. Like it needs more rest! The day started with a 7.7 mile climb, but it was not steep at all. I made good time to the next water source. Once there, I dug it out so it was easier to fill ones bottle. I passed Lake Siskiyou, Porcupine Lake, and Toad Lake before reaching Deadfall Lakes. The section coming in Deadfall was very rocky and scenic. There were lots of people there since it’s only 3 miles from a paved road, Parks Creek Road 42N17. I passed a group of 5 and a group of 4. I then had about 8-10 people pass me going into the lakes. I chatted up an older gentleman, who was an avid backpacker. I hoped I might score a drink once to the parking lot, but we just talked about lightweight gear.
I moved on and a few miles later saw a couple of nice logs to have lunch next to. I planned to use one as a backrest. I should have known that logs = (equals) ants. They were on me and my stuff right away. I have lost all patience for ants on the trip. I enjoyed my lunch best I could and after 45 minutes I moved out. I got water just up the trail at a small creeklet. I went on to traverse many saddles passing Chilcoot Creek and Bull Lake. By now I have now completed a full half circle from were I crossed the Trinity Divide. I have been walking in a counter clockwise direction for 1.5 days. None of it heading north! The PCT does a giant semi circle once you leave Castella. It heads north then turns SW and slowly curves back to the NE before entering Oregon, where it stays straight, more or less, to Canada.
After lunch it was a small climb of 3.8 miles; but after Bull Lake, it went down for 4.7 and then back up for 4.4. I traversed some more mountains passing Little Trinity River Trail; Peak 6857; two springs, which is where I saw the first rattlesnake; the Masterton Meadow Trail; Grouse Creek Trail, where I saw the deer and shortly after that the second rattlesnake, who was as unhappy as the first; and finally I reached camp.
When I first got to camp I wasn’t sure I would stay. It was only 6:30 and there was plenty of daylight left. I decided to stay since I had already done 31.8 miles and my right lower leg and ankle had been hurting most of the day. All the loose rocks, from a few days ago, took their toll on my legs. I took some Advil and I hoped it would be better in the AM. My right shoulder has been really tight too and it could use the break. The heavier my load, the worse my shoulder is. I hope that I have some short distances between towns coming up – it might get a rest. I’m camped right next to a small pond. When I got here there were thousands of bugs flying over the water. (They showed up in the sunlight.) Surprisingly there werent any mosquitoes. There were ants though! I cooked, took a bath, per se, and now it’s off to bed and some rest.
Scatman 2011- Today was a cake walk compare to yesterday death march up and around Castle Crags. The shoulder pain I mention above is like the one I had on the bike on the way down the coast. This tightness would stay with me until the trip was over. The muscles seems to be consistently knotted. The foot pain would cease but not the shoulder. I learned to just ignore it.
Deadfall Lakes were amazing. I can see why people enjoy them so much. It was a very scenic area which was easily accessible. Most of the day was scenic as well, though since I was hiking around a giant bowl it felt like I wasn’t making any progress. I could look back and see where I came from and it looked so close. Let me tell you, those two rattle snakes scared the shit out of me. They were only 5′ off the trail and their tails lit up when I came by. I was barely calmed down from the first one when I came upon the second one. I yelled at him, “COME ON! I just started to relax!” He didn’t care and hissed and rattled away until I left.
Get out there!