Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 88-Never Past Up A Chance to Swim

Mile 1469 to mile 1491

Right after waking up this morning I heard a very awkward squawk-it sounded like a bird exploded. Once out of my tent there was no sign of an exploded bird-no feathers, no small crater. It was an odd noise though.

Early in the morning's miles Portrait and I passed Oops. We chatted for a minute and then went onward. The trail slowly went up on a side hill and then slowly went down on a side hill. The trail passed a lot of tiny creeks that we didn't stop at.  Pocketknife Creek had three mini waterfalls-it was charming and made me want to drink from it just because it was lovely (Halfmile had it named as Butcherknife Creek which made it a lot less charming).

After seven miles of hiking we arrived at Ash Camp (where Stride had spent the night) on the banks of the McCloud River. It didn't look like a good swimming creek-too swift, too much white water, and it was oddly cloudy. After a snack break we took the bridge across the river.  At the far side of the bridge was a cardboard sign saying beer was in the creek. There was one can bobbing in the water, but I decided to skip it. I just didn't feel like it (or maybe I just didn't want to pack out an empty and a sign).

A couple miles later there was more water, and this time we. Both filled up. The next water was eight miles away and not until after lunch. We left the water to find a place for lunch in a few miles. While we were keeping an eye out for a lunch spot Portrait spotted a red, black, and yellow snake on a boulder. I don't know if there are coral or milk snakes in this area, but those were my guesses. We took a few pictures until it got sick of us a slithered away and we went back to looking for a lunch spot.

It was harder than expected to find a spot, but finally we did. I ate lunch leaning against a large pine tree.  It was rather pleasant and I ate extra food-still trying to empty the food bag for town tomorrow.
After lunch the miles to the water dragged by. I spent the time thinking about Thanksgiving (I know, way too early for such thoughts, but as an AT southbounder I spent many AT miles thinking about Thanksgiving). I was thinking about garlic squash when I finally heard water. I took a liter and we went .4 further to have snack.
How do you get to the water?

Almost 2.5 miles later was the last water for the day. The trail crossed over the river on a bridge. The water looked nearly impossible to get to because of cliffs on either side. Oddball had left trail mail with instructions on how to fill up. We followed a trail up river for water, and much to my delight, swimming holes.
Trail Mail
It was already six o'clock, but I figured dinner could wait and I went in the water. It was colder than I expected, but it felt really good to go under a few times.  I got out feeling clean and refreshed.

I stayed feeling cool on the last big uphill before town tomorrow. After only two miles from the river we saw a campsite and decided to take it. No campsite were listed on the maps or in the guide so I didn't want to pass up a good spot with the hope of finding on a mile closer to town. And I was happy to be in camp and cooking dinner before eight.

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