Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 122 - Brahma Lake to Mesa Creek

It was fun being warm and dry in my tent last night, while it was rainy outside. But it only rained at the beginning of the night, and by morning my tent was mostly dry.
I was one of the last to leave camp, with only Forest leaving after I did. Quite early, I passed Butter Fingers, who cannot a few miles back last night, and Coyote and her partner, who probably did the same.
I planned in hiking just 25 miles today, leaving 24 into town tomorrow. But I knew the terrain would be easy, so I might do 29 today, and a bit less tomorrow instead.
After about 10 miles I stopped by Horseshoe Lake for a snack, and met Circle. He is a southbounder, and he was talking an easy day resting, after being bit by a spider. He said it looks pretty nasty, and I believe him. I hope it gets better soon, so he can keep on hiking.
I kept leap frogging Coyote and her partner. I really should get his trail name somehow. They passed me again at my lunch stop, and told me they are getting into Elk Lake, a resort which is about 1 mile off trail. I am skipping it, since I am getting into town tomorrow.
Just around the side trail to Elk Lake I found some good cell reception, so I had a quick call home. That was nice.
About a mile further, at the second side trail to the same resort, I stopped for another snack. A couple came up from the resort, and I helped them going on the right trail to Horse Lake.
A few minutes later an older couple came down the PCT. They were also planning to get to Horse Lake, but they went up the wrong trail for a while before realizing their mistake and coming back down to the resort.
Then came a couple of hikers. They were planning on camping near Horse Lake, and also took the pct instead. They hiked a total of 3 extra miles. I shower then where we were on the map, and directed them to the right trail as well.
I finally left the trail junction at around 15:20 with 9 miles to go. After a short while I stumbled upon the reason the trail had so much horse poop all over it - two hikers with for horses. It was the first time I gained on horseback riders. They said they were going to Sisters Mirror Lake, which was my original destination, but I already knew I'd do the extra 4 miles to Mesa Creek today.
I still had to climb up and around Koosah Mountain, which has a funny name. Especially in Hebrew. From there, the trail went down to Sisters Mirror Lake. I met a section hiker who missed his side trail to Camelot Lake, and helped him on his way as well, and sat for a last snack by the Mirror Lake.
It was just about 17:00, with 4 miles to go, when the rain clouds started covering the skies. I began hooking faster, to get to camp before the rain starts.
The trail went over a small hill, and I passed a group of girls, led by three guides, just before heading out to a big meadow right below the Middle Sister. I could hear thunders behind me, as I raced across that long open stretch. A southbounder BASHER (Big Ass Section Hiker - she was going all the way to South Lake Tahoe, about 800 miles from here) came by, hurrying to get to Mirror Lake before the storm strikes. I was running on the other direction.
A while later, the trail got back into woods, and started climbing down towards the creek. I finally reached a nice stream, and saw some hikers camped nearby.
I joined Zisou and Oklahoma, and enjoyed dinner with them, while getting about 5 new mosquito bites on my right hand.
Slacker came by, and headed on. I didn't see anybody from camp last night pass by yet. I hope they are in camp by now, at 20:30. The big rains haven't started yet, but they might still come soon.
Brahma Lake
Butter Fingers taking a break near Desane Lake
Circle taking a relaxing day after his spider bite, near Horseshoe Lake
South sister