Wednesday, June 27, 2012

27 June - Day 67 - Into the Hell of Mozzies.

Glaciated granite terrace (Mile 967.5) below Benson Pass to Wilmer Lake (Mile 987.5)

Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 20

Dionysus here.

Well, we kept hearing about the mosquito hell that awaited us in Yosemite National Park, but they were not as bad as of Tuolumne so we figured yet again we lucked out with perfect conditions this year. (It was a low snow year in the Sierra so passes have been virtually bare of snow and creek crossings that should be burly as all get out are six inches deep). Turns out we weren't THAT lucky. I am composing this post in the tent (oh holiest of sanctuaries!) looking up at the iPhone and in the two inches between the mesh screen of the tent and the sill of the rain cover there are over a hundred mosquitoes whining their neurotic tunes.

Yeah, today was a trying day. It was a conflagration of difficulties of all sorts that tested our resilience. For one, the mozzies. From beginning to end they were dense and persistent. Lots of deet on our legs and arms, yet still a constant aggravation. (I need to learn to simply wear them like some of our fellow hikers have - the bugs only annoying not harmful, after all).

Second, the terrain was really rough. We ascended four different passes doing about 5000 vertical feet in the end. The day was just steep up and steep down with some more fun blowdown action to problem solve along the way.

And then there is the added strain of injury. Pan's foot and my gut keep us slow on the climb and managing pain the whole time.

We did also pass through a ton of beautiful scenery. Smedburg lake in the frost of morning as we warmed our coffee. Kerrick creek (which is usually one of those muscular fords that kicks hikers' butts) was picture worthy with all the blown down trees across the banks. And a late dinner on a glacially polished rock overlooking Wilmer (or Wilma?) Lake at dusk - the tail end of the glamour still bouncing in the breeze. But the romance has greatly diminished with the addition of our new flying friends. Hopefully they will ease up soon or we will acclimate to them; I would hate to pass through Yosemite with little more than the bad taste of mosquitoes in my mouth (no really, I ate two today).

Pan here. Sorry no photos. Skeeters keep driving off the "aww, let's stop and take photos" mood. We just let the suckers chase us as we keep moving.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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