Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 6 : Marie Lake

Friday July 4, 2014
17 Miles Today
120 Total Miles

Happy Fourth of July! What a great country we live in. I have been amazed at the number of young attractive female hikers there are. These young ladies are my daughters age and they are all hiking the PCT solo. It's a pretty amazing country where this many single females can feel safe enough to hike alone in the woods.

I have hiked five miles further than I planned today. I am about eight miles from Muir Trail Ranch. MTR is where I intended to resupply on Sunday. Today is only Friday. I could zero here and still make it to MTR on time.

I really like this spot provided that it isn't too windy tonight. I am camping on a sandy shelf above Marie Lake. Today's hike started with a lot of downhill followed by a lot of uphill. Then I got to repeat that process a second time.
I jumped into the lake and took a quick, really quick, swim in the cold water. I jumped in with all of my clothes on and killed two birds with one stone. I got my laundry done at the same time! 

It is a fascinating thing to be alone with oneself. I am purposely avoiding listening to music or audio books so that I can think and observe the world around me. Every so often I have some interesting thoughts that I stop and record on here. That didn't happen today. I did observe some pretty cool wild flowers today. 

I met a PCT thru-hiker named Two Feathers. She seemed to really be enjoying herself. She is from South Africa and blogs at 

The trip today includes a crossing of Bear Creek that the map indicates could be a hazardous crossing. I wasn't too worried about it because it is a low snow year, but I was anticipating it because it was going to require getting my feet wet. So when I finally made it down from the ridge to the creek it was heavily on my mind. I walked along the creek following the trail for about fifteen minutes and met a Nobo JMT hiker. I asked him about the crossing. He said, "No big deal there are some rocks about ten meters down stream I just stepped across them." I said, "Your feet aren't even wet." He looked at his feet and said, "Nope."

So I began looking for the crossing, looking for rocks, guessing where it might be. On and on I followed the trail, further and further, with no crossing in sight. I followed it around corners, over ridges, through forests, across open areas and swamps. Still no crossing in sight. I had set a goal to have lunch after the crossing and now it was past lunch time. I was wondering if I should stop to refill my water, "no, the crossing is right ahead," I thought. I lost all interest in the crossing, for all I knew I might reach it in a week or so. Finally the trail turned sharply and descended to the shore. I could see the trail continuing on the other side. 

Temptations seem to appear when you are tired, hungry, or thirsty. I was all three. At the crossing was an attractive woman who could have been a huge distraction. After quickly crossing, I thought it best to keep hiking until she was so far behind me  that she never caught up.

It was another mile before I found a spot without mosquitoes to stop and eat and another mile after that where I could finally get more water.

I use a Cocoon silk mummy liner to provide extra warmth to my forty degree bag. At least part of the reason why I am cold is that I ripped a large hole into it. I am experiencing some trepidation at the coming night between that and the extraordinary amount of condensation I experienced last night. I am hoping that I will still be warm enough even though I am above ten thousand feet in elevation. It really seems quite stupid of me to worry over a few extra ounces of down. We'll see how stupid I was then tomorrow after tonight has happened. 

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