Mile 1920.1-1957.7 (37.6)
The first miles were lovely, combing through cool forest and then walking through an exposed burn area. These miles were relaxed, quick, and painless.
Once I entered Three Sisters Wilderness, the mosquitos swarmed. I had a headnet, but that just kept them off my face. My shoulders and the backs of my legs were devoured. Hiking fast only kept their numbers down.
The terrain was pretty and flat, dotted with nice lakes, but I didn’t dare stop to admire them or go for a swim. I stopped to get water twice and paced furiously as the steripen did its thing.
30 miles into my day, at the junction to Elk Lake, I found an exposed spot miraculously free of mosquitos. I gulped water and shoved food into my mouth. I had run out of snacks miles ago and hadn’t been willing to fish more out of my pack. I had been in zombie mode for a few hours. Now sugar coursed through my body again and I was good to keep hiking.
I crested a modest ridge and felt a generous breeze. Yes! I thought I might camp at Sisters Mirror Lake, but when I got there the bugs swarmed again so I kept hiking. I came upon a little campsite overlooking South Sister (I think) and fell asleep under a full moon once my feet stopped throbbing.