Day 52

Sept 6
Miles:  20.3
PCT:  2342.6 – 2362.9
Total Miles:  635.8

Ouch, ouch, ouch, my dogs are barking!!  My feet really hit the wall today.  It felt like I was walking on rusty nails all day.  I had to take lots of small breaks to let the throbbing die down.  It’s hard to appreciate any of the trail and views when in pain.  I see a good view, whip out the camera and take a shot then keep moving.  No excitement, no appreciation, just move on.

There’s lots of folks on the trail these days and most walk faster than I do.  This means that I have a lot of folks come up from behind and scare the crap out of me.  I have a strong startle reflex and it doesn’t seem to diminish over time.  If I hear someone, then I do a quick, “Crazy Ivan” where I spin around to see who’s there.  Often, it’s nothing, but if someone is there, I don’t get startled.  If I don’t hear them, and they say something, I always shout out “Whoa” and my adrenaline red-lines.  I jump off the trail to let them pass.

I’ve mentioned that I don’t care about names of things, and I don’t have the ability to remember them, even if I cared.  This includes the flora/fauna.  I have read blogs that name every mushroom, frog, wildflower with an accompanying picture.  I think it’s great that there are folks that keep track of this and pass it on to others who care.  I don’t care and it bores me silly to see the pictures.  On the other hand, I do like seeing all this live and really appreciate the beauty on the trail.  The wildflowers are amazing and ubiquitous, but you won’t see any close ups here.  There are plenty of other blogs with plenty of photos and names.

Just for the record, I don’t pick berries.  There are lots of berries along the trail and lots of hikers are berry pickers.  I don’t feel it’s worth the time and effort.  I can go to a store in town and buy a big basket of berries that are genetically modified to be large, juicy and sweet.  I can eat them by the handful and didn’t have to spend an hour picking them.  I suppose if I was starving I would pick berries, but I don’t feel hungry on the trail.  There’s also that possibility that the previous hiker decided to take a leak right where you are picking your berries.  You never know…

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Yet another burn area.  Soooo much loss..

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This is a shelter that can be used by hikers, campers, cross-country skiers, etc.  I don’t like the shelters unless there is inclement weather.  My tent smells much better, is cleaner and protects well against flying and crawling creatures.  Also, I don’t like company while I try to sleep.  It’s hard enough without all the breathing, moaning, moving and snoring.  I didn’t stay here…

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Another stream where I got water. 

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A cool mountain range.

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Mountain Goats!!  You can’t tell from the picture, but the slope of this mountain is quite steep.  I believe it gives the goats an advantage against their predators.

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This view is un-zoomed.  Can you see the goats?

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Bill (Blackhawk Down)

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