Summiting a mountain is a pretty great feeling and since we were feeling pretty great about life post-Mt. Whitney summit, we decided to throw in a few more miles before dark.
Dustin demonstrating his strength post-summit
Invigorated with the day, we charged ahead, packs bulging, calf muscles rippling. Nothing could stop us!
Alas, tragedy in the form of one million mosquitoes hit us as we descended into some sort of valley and prepared to cross Wallace Creek.
Dear friends, the devil’s army is alive and well, and oh does it SWARM.
I’d like to say I was a supportive, kind, and attentive girlfriend as Dustin filled his water bottle, but I wasn’t. I flat out bolted, leaving Dustin and mosquitoes behind, getting out of that valley in absolute record time. Dustin caught up and we stopped for the briefest of seconds to don some permethrin-covered pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Shortly before leaving for the trail, we’d sprayed permethrin – some sort of probably-hostile chemical that promises to repel insects in exchange for your lungs – over a couple pairs of clothes. The effect was … utterly useless.
After passing by a lot of creekside campsites and through a lot of mosquitoes, we came across a waterless campsite that promised fewer mosquitoes and we set to work getting ready for the night.
Even a waterless campsite couldn’t keep mosquitoes at bay, though, and we were forced to dig out our fairly embarrassing bug netting.
Dustin in prime marmot territory filtering water in mosquito netting. How very vogue.
This was one of the prettiest, most uncomfortable campsites along the trail. This grass stuff is actually large clumps of squarish dirts. According to my journal “the ground was like sleeping on a lego brick.”
Thank goodness hiking all day knocks you right out.
Music courtesy of my mom. New favorite song.
Through My Headphones
*NoLo -Grace Mitchell