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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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Jack and Barb
City: Encinitas
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Aug 25th, 2011
Start: mile 1917
End: mile 1950
Daily Distance: 33
Trip Distance: 1,936.7

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,278
Journal Visits: 388,729
Guestbook Views: 167,251
Guestbook Entrys: 482

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Mosquito Motel

Lakes, ponds, water - and MANY MOSQUITOS

I'm getting good at these early starts when I am under pressure. Things are looking good for Big Lake Youth Camp now but I will still have some 30's ahead. I was on the trail today at 6:15.

Today was Lakes and Mosquitos day. There was so much water on this segment of trail that Halfmile doesn't even list any on his maps. And the mosquitos are ferocious.

I tried Deet then the head net. I think the mosquitos in Oregon are more savvy than those in CA. It is like a fast food joint but reversed. The mossies just sit and hang near the trail and every hour or so, a hiker comes by and they attack. I can hear them now "Hey Fred, you want to 'Supersize' this guy?"

When I taught Junior High science (yes, I became a science teacher after the short Engineering gig) I would bring in a jar of pond water with all the "wigglers" swimming about. These were the larval stage of the mosquito. They look really cool under a microscope. We would take the jar and seal it and watch it every day. Soon, there would be adult mosquitos hanging about in the jar. Good lesson on life cycles. Only the female mosquitos bite us. They use our blood for the development of viable eggs. The male mosquitos get their nourishment from flowers, much like butterflys. Seemed like the whole trail was female mosquitos today!

What stumped me today was that for awhile, I was in a very dry area. Where was the water where the larvae could survive? Perhaps in small pools in tree trunks or elsewhere. But the mossies were everywhere! My clothes were loose enough to keep them from getting me but there is one spot, the shoulders where my shirt is tight against my skin from the pack straps. They keep getting me there and it really ticks me off (pun not intended)

I had a plan. I got my rain jacket and draped it over the top of my pack, covering my shoulders. It worked quite well but after awhile, I could feel the heat from the jacket as the sun beat on it.

I needed water and stopped at a very nice little pond. There was even a big bush nearby with ample shade. I got some water and sat down in the shade to eat a quick lunch. Yeah, the mossies were bad but I now had my jacket on and the headnet. Well, they were even worse than my defenses could handle. Another scene from "The Birds".

I have these plastic oversized "toothpaste" tubes from REI. One has Peanut Butter in it, the other is loaded with Jelly. For lunch today, I was going to squirt peanut butter and jelly on triskets but today, it wasn't going to happen. So, instead, I grabbed the tube of peanut butter, stuck it under the head net and gave one long squirt into my mouth. Add water, get the thick stuff down. Now grab the jelly tube and inject jelly into mouth, yumm, that was quite good! Reach into trisket bag, grab a handful of triskets, stuff them into my shirt pocket, pack everything up and be on my way. Never in my life had I eaten a lunch like that!

I was munching on the triskets as I lit off down the trail. Lunch stop, 10 minutes.

Right at dark as I was nearing camp at mile marker 1950, a PCT celebritiy passed through going SoBo.

He introduced himself as Bink. The name sounded familiar. I looked at him, I thought he looked like Scott Williamson and said, "What's your real name?" He said "Scott Williamson". If you are not in the PCT hiking circles you probably have never heard of this guy but he is big, really big. He holds multiple records, one, I recall the speed record for an unassisted hike of the PCT in 65 days (2009). That would be an average of 40.5 miles per day. He stopped to chat, such a nice guy. I wonder how he does it, setting records and still stopping to talk with people he meets along the trail. His pack was heavy as he was carrying food to get him from Timberline lodge all the way to Mazama Village. His dinner is always the same: Dehydrated refried beans with ground up tortilla chips and a dollop of olive oil. He makes his own energy bars. I said "Hey, you probably gotta get going, you are on a mission" He seemed to think it was more important to talk to his fans and told me he had plenty of time but in a Blink, Bink was gone. He said he gets up at 4am and hikes into the night. I wonder when the guy sleeps.

I had done a record 33 miles today. Didn't take me long to get to sleep.

Entry 168 of 210
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Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

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