CDT Day 1.5 — June 26
Mokowami Lake to Gable Creek Campground
Lake of Leisure Camp to Perfect Privy Camp
Miles hiked: 8
Total miles: 22.5
The sun woke me up once, twice, at least three times before I finally admitted that it was time to stay awake for the day. I watched the light change through the translucent tent fabric and the mosquitos gradually shake off their sluggishness. Not wanting to outdo yesterday’s lassitude, Spice and I packed up camp just before 11am. Man, these CDT mornings sure are tough, aren’t they?
Full raingear and headnets were a requirement for a sunny brunch by the lake, freaking out the guided group that showed up a bit later. We exchanged pleasantries, then loaded up to start hiking around 1pm.
A weatherman might describe the weather as partly cloudy. I would call it gorgeous. Full sun lit the dense foliage along the trail a violent green. Thimble berries, huckleberries, other berries. No fruits yet to be seen, but the air was thick with the sweet sent of my berry picking days along the PCT. The muddy slop was drier today as we backtracked along a huge lake that I should know the name of, which made for easier and more pleasant walking than we had on the way in. The sunniest stretches of trail were lined with rocket jellyfish flowers, for lack of my knowing their real name. Grapefruit-sized poofs of small flowers perched atop asparagus stems chest high, so that our fists and forearms became speckled with white pollen. Magical swaying left in our wake.
A long lunch in a small meadow gave me ample opportunity to work on my sunburn, and Spice time to loop What’s New Pussycat. The sightseeing was worthy of a national park with crumbling blades of rock rimming the valley far above. I wish I knew more about the geology of the area. The rock certainly isn’t Sierra granite, and abounds with stripes of varying color and composition. Near vertical walls top heaps of talus. I could stare at this stuff for a long time.
Easy strolling from there delivered us in a few hours back to the CDT proper at Gable Creek, home for the night. A campfire was already smoking out the mosquitos when we reached the food prep area. Three hikers huddled around it for protection while preparing their evening meals. One other CDTer and a couple doing their own thing.
Frozen feet in the creek, then a trail version of shepherds pie for dinner. In bed before dark, thinking about the next few days. Mileage increases are on the way as the CDT begins in earnest. How will we hold up? What will we learn? I am so grateful to have the opportunity to find out.