Bugs: our constant trail companions

Miles: 1437.4 to 1462.9

Mileage: 25.5

Day: 74

We cannot seem to get the hang of waking up with the alarm(s). The first one goes off at 6 a.m.; an arguably late start for thru hikers as it is. The second goes off at 6:30. 

I would postulate that I hear one of them about half the time. Maybe 10 percent of the time I hear both and the rest of it, I sleep right through it all.

Whomever wakes up first will usually poke the other to get things moving. An effective, but as yet unused because it would probably provoke violence, wake-up tactic would be to deflate the sleeping pad of the other. It would be very mean, so I’ve only spoken of it here and not to Richard because then he might use it on me. 

Once we got up and packed, it was already hot. The gnats and mosquitoes did not sleep in and they chased us up the first climb. 

The gnats out here like to land on my sunglasses. If not removed quickly, they will migrate to the inside of the lense and move in on their real target: eyeballs. I think they’re aiming to get some water from my eyes, but they really just end up dead; either because they drown in the excess water my eyes produce from being invaded by a foreign body or I delight in squishing them for even trying. The day-biting mosquitoes up here are small but tenacious. And they keep one eye on their backs because they always fly away right before I assault my own face, neck, arms or legs. 


Mt. Shasta. We will see this mountain for days as we hike.
Around 2 p.m., we stopped for water and food. We enjoyed the shade until about 4, when it was time to keep moving. We’ve decided in this heat to revert to our desert schedule of hiking until the heat of the day then breaking for a couple of hours and ending the day after 8 p.m. when things have cooled off. 

Tonight the flies put us to bed. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *