WA PCT Section J – Part II, Day 3 – Skeeter City

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Sunday, August 12, 2018
Part II, Day 3. Miles hiked: 17. Elevation gain/loss: +3880/-3145.
Somewhere above Hyas Lake (WACS2440) to South of the Waptus Pass Burn Trail

(Pictures from days 2-5 are here)

Holy shit the mosquitos at this campsite are the worst I’ve ever seen. Cold blooded blood suckers. In my wind gear, rain gear, hat and bug headnet, they are ravenously poking at my feet through my wool socks.

I wake at 6:20 in my dry camp. Not enough water for coffee or breakfast. It rained in the night and I was partially shielded by the tree, but NBD. I slept well. Woods poop. Pack up. I leave camp at 8:40 and chat with the nearby campers – those 3 hammock camping guys – about their setup. They’re headed to Waptus River (~12 miles). Two other guys had camped nearby too. Safety in numbers.

I don my rain gear for the mist and wet brush along the trail and head on uphill, but I soon shed the gear and I climb to the base of Cathedral Rock. Beautiful in the mist! I eat a chocolate hazelnut filled cliff bar and drink the rest of my water at the top. The clouds have lifted and the sky is clear. 3+ miles to water, but it’s all downhill. I’m at the river at 10am. Filter 2L. Make coffee and oatmeal (oatmeal+granola=slightly more interesting breakfast oatmeal). I see a handful of hikers this morning – all young PCT NOBO hikers it seems. I chug along 7 miles through forested trail. I run into a deer on the trail – hello! I reach the Waptus River at 2 and relax by the water for an hour, filtering and drinking water, lunching, drying gear. Nearby is the north end of the Dutch Miller Gap trail/Goldmyer Hot Springs alternate, which was one of the options Mark and I had last week.

Up, up, up for 5 miles. As I rise out of the valley, the mountain views are increasingly good. 6 or 8 hikers pass by in the afternoon. Emergency poop. At camp at 5:45. WACS2423. It’s set back from the trail a bit and juju is average. LOTS of mosquitos. I listen to the Cascade Hiker Podcast while setting my my tent and cooking dinner. Refried beans, rice, Taco Bell fire sauce, cheese. I’m tired. Not sure if anyone will camp near here too, but I’m hoping so. I hide from the skeeters in my tent. Brush teeth, clean up. Argh my period has arrived. I hear clomping around and think “deer?” but it’s actually another hiker setting up camp. Huzzah – company! Sleep.

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