Monday, September 03, 2012

Day 135-Use Bucket

From campsite at Mosquito Lake outlet creek at mile 2227 to junction with Round the Mountain Trail at mile ?

We decided to have a slow start out of camp after a string of early starts. I made a pot of hot chocolate and drank it in my sleeping bag. We left camp at 8:30. Based on the spider webs across the trail no one had passed while I sipped my hot chocolate.

Tiny streams ran over the trail for the first mile. I had left camp without a drop of water so I filled up at the first water and took enough to last a while.

The easy trail of yesterday was in the past. Portrait showed me the profile for the day before we left camp and it illustrated a day of mostly uphill. If we had any downhill of significance before lunch, I don't remember it. We found a sort of flat spot in the shade for lunch near the top of our first climb of the day. I realized halfway through lunch while goosebumps formed under my jacket that soon we may stop looking for shade at lunch time and only sit in warm fall sunlight.

After lunch we climbed again, but we had been near the top of the climb at lunch. According to the guide book the downhill trail to the road that could take us into Trout Lake had trail magic left by monks. I had read the description of the magic enough times for the words to spin through my thoughts: organic fruit, drinks, some candy, trash can, restocked twice a week. I knew with the amount of hikers ahead the cool could be empty, but I had some how collected a lot of trash again that I wanted to get ride of. There was nothing on the south side of the road and no cooler after we crossed the road.

I heard water just after the road and figured the monks put their cooler next to the water, but again, no cooler. There was a small carin next to the bridge and a note on a piece of PBR cardboard about beer under the bridge left by the parents of a thru-hiker. I climbed down and fish a PBR out of the cold water. I sat next to Portrait on the bridge and had a snack while sipping my beer-and still longing for the monk's fruit.

I didn't fully give up on the monk's trail magic until the start of the next climb about a half mile after the road. The rest of the day was full of climbing according to the maps.

Three miles of climbing later we came to our last water of the day. I heard the gushing water before I saw the trail leading to it. We went down so we could fill up with enough water for dry camping. A small yellow bucket on a long length of rope was hanging from a sign nailed to a tree: "use bucket". The spring was about ten feet below the end of the path with no real way of getting to it without the bucket. It was like fishing, but also very easy to pull up a bucket of cold and clear water.
Use Bucket to fill up

I half-heartily tried to get Portrait to agree to camping at the spring because my tendon was bothering me. It was only 5:30 and we hadn't hiked that far yet. We pushed on with me in the lead setting the pace to a slow hobble.

Not long after leaving the spring Portrait convinced me to try walking in my socks for a few minutes. He thought my tendon would feel better with nothing against it. I gave it a try while Portrait carried my shoes. Except for stepping on small pointed objects it did feel better being shoeless. I didn't walk that way long enough to really know if the answer was to have nothing touch my tendon.

Mount Adams at sunset
Mount Adams took up the whole view in front of me. We had gotten really close to the base of the mountain during the day-I think it was all that uphill. We had picked a camping spot from the guide book that claimed wonderful views of Adams just minutes off the PCT. The sight lived up to its hype. Mount Adams was in full view and tinted pink from the setting sun. I watched as the sun died Adams red while making dinner and then in an instant the sun had set and Mount Adams looked cold and gray. The temp dropped quickly and it wasn't long before we were climbing into our bags for warmth and sleep.

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