Oregon Skyline Trail mile 2.0 to PCT mile 1920.1 (34.6 + 1.5 on Shelter Cove Trail)
The first miles of the day were flat and dull. The trail wavered between sandy and dusty. Mosquitos were out in full force.
There were some small lakes that I passed by. It was cloudy and cool and I didn’t need much water early in the day. When I got to Diamond View Lake, it was so sparkly and bright under the emerging sun that I dove through the clouds of mosquitos right into the clear water. I swam out to the middle of the lake. Blue skies overhead. Felt great. Coming back to shore was an ordeal, and the mosquitos flocked to my bare skin. I threw my clothes back on and booked it back to the trail.
Around 1pm I made it to Shelter Cove Resort. They have a little area set aside for hikers. I ate four burritos and drank two large coffees. This made me pretty nauseous and I couldn’t hike out for two hours. In the meantime Senor Whiskers and I talked and he convinced me to try memorizing poems on the trail. I was very moved listening to him recite a few that he had committed to heart.
I headed back to the trail with a full belly and a full heart. I hiked for hours with energy and joy. Up to the beautiful Rosary Lakes, glittering in the afternoon light and clear as a tropical beach. Up to Maiden Peak Shelter. Then down to the mosquito inferno near Bobby Lakes, where I clocked a 4mph pace to keep the horrible bugs from eating me alive. It was a great relief to climb again. I hadn’t eaten since leaving the resort and felt my energy wane, so I ate a bunch of bars and got the final kick I needed to get up the hill. I saw the orange glob of sun melting into the horizon and felt the cool of evening settle over the mountain. I hiked until it was dark, then pitched my tent quickly as the mosquitos came out from their hiding places.