Day 26 of musli and soy milk in
the old ziplock.
In case you lose your
bearings, a trail marker
points the way north
at Cloud Burst Summit.
Upon picking up our packs,
we were also treated to a
"pitch surprise" compliments
of the tree.
We awoke to feel a cool breeze brushing our faces. We packed up, and started off.
After about 2 miles, the trail passed right through a campground and we stopped to refill
our water bottles. While doing so, we got to talking with a man named Phil and told him
about our hike. He invited us back to his campsite for breakfast and we had pancakes,
fresh strawberries, and bacon! After my horrible night, can you believe such luck?
Well you shouldn't because that's not what happened.
No refreshing breeze came in the night, and I hardly slept. (Not happy with wind-not happy without wind) When dawn came, the mosquitoes were as thick as ever. I also found that all my clothes in my clothes bag that had been damp when we left Cajon Pass had fermented and stunk.
We broke camp. As I hiked, I grew increasingly frustrated with my pace, the mosquitoes, and the fact at 7500 feet in elevation, it was 80 degrees and not yet 7 am.
I could tell that I was dangerously close to having one of my episodes, which consist of me loudly spewing forth some negative thought or other, and always places me in an unbecoming light. Now, this doesn't particularly bother me if it's just the two of us, but it seems like every time I go into this mode, a person, or more commonly, a party of jolly people, come around the bend in the trail and I am exposed as the bad tempered shrew that I am.
To help avoid embarrassing situations, (mostly for my benefit) Scott and I have devised a signal to alert each other in case we spot people. Initially, Scott wanted to make the sign of people walking with his fingers, but we decided that a verbal signal would be better. Scott decided upon the phrase: "Remember when we were hiking with Dave?" (his brother) (When I spot people, I just make an unflattering comment about his brother which works just as well and is a lot more fun).
Anyway, the other night just as dusk was setting in, I was coming up an overly steep portion of trail leading up to Duffy Trail Camp. Scott was standing at what appeared to be the end of the incline waiting for me. I was enquiring somewhat loudly, things such as who designed this section of trail, what sort of thought process they had gone through during the design phase, and how much longer did it look like it was going to last. Scott was not answering, so I again asked somewhat more loudly whether there was anymore uphill. Again, no answer.
When I finally reached him, he whispered, "People." And sure enough, there was a family at a campsite just round the bend privy to all of my unpleasantness. I whispered back, "Why didn't you say anything?" He said, "I made the little feet walking." Well, it was too dark and he was too far away. These were the very reasons we had changed the signal in the first place [It was my take that either signal was still valid. I'm sure it would have been a little silly for me to be conversing with someone on the trail and all of a sudden ask Amy if she remembered hiking with Dave. Come to think of it, it was still silly with me making "walking man fingers" behind my back -Scott]
Anyway, because of problems such as this, with great effort, I decided against an episode.
I am glad to report that the day improved as we had our lunch beside a pretty creek and we were able to take a makeshift sponge bath and I poured panfulls of cold water over my head. It was wonderful and felt better than a complete shower on a normal day back home.
After the fiasco of the previous night, we set up the tent and I slept well.