Friday, August 25th, 2017
It was cold overnight in this damp ravine, I had the sleeping bag over my head to capture my breath for a bit of warmth. Breakfast is a numb-fingers affair; I eat the last of my eggs. The plan for today is to hike up at least to that ridge where I saw the tent if not all the way back to the motorcycle. I'll just see how I feel and plan on filtering enough water if I want to stay on the ridge.
I'm heading back the way I came but I don't find it boring, I'm enjoying the effort of schlepping the pack along in the heat. My water filter is annoyingly slow, I've had to start taking a Zen approach by listening to my breath as I squeeze the filter bag. Otherwise I'll throw the thing off of a cliff.
Still no people today, that makes 2 that I haven't seen any. I guess this isn't such a popular trail, and being midweek people are probably doing wacky stuff like working for a living.
The air is pretty smoky again today. The wind is carrying it from the fires to the west.
That tent and tarp are still on top of the ridge, they haven't budged since I first saw them. Now they are wet and covered in pine cones from the storms. Maybe I should tell someone at the ranger station, kind of strange with the gear being new and all.
I decide to keep going back down to the trailhead. I'm a bit worried about the motorcycle, although I needn't have been, she is waiting there patiently for me just like I left her. I'm hot and tired, I just chuck all the gear on the back, strap it on, and head down the rocky road towards Pine. It's much tougher going down than it is up.
When I reach the reservoir I feel something biting my ear. It hurts. I'm on a sandy road, nervous as it is, panic ensues with this thing chewing my ear in my helmet. I stop as quickly as I can without crashing, rip off the helmet to find -- ironically enough -- an earwig. The thing must have moved into my helmet that was locked to the bike while I was away. He pays for that stay with his life.
After buying some food and cold drinks at the general store in Pine, I head back to the reservoir to camp. I'm chagrined to find an RV in the spot where I camped a couple of days ago. It's Friday night so I suspect it will be busy. The reservoir is a noisy mass of humanity: boats, jet-skis, dirt-bikes and dune buggies riding up and down the beach, huge RV's all over the place. I have a depressing moment of reflection on the state of humanity: why bother to go out into nature to camp if you're going to bring 5 tons of machinery, generators, stereos, etc... and turn it back into a city? Might as well just stay put in the comfort of their homes.
Stats for hike (Strava data):
Miles hiked: 9.5mi
Elevation gain: 2,354 feet
Moving time: 3:51:14