Day 57

Sept 11
Miles:  23.3
PCT:  2420.8 -2444.1
Total Miles:  717.0
Elevation gain:  4834

Last night was a nightmare.  I was terrorized by a mouse from midnight until morning (4 am).  I first discovered him in my tent when he crawled across my neck.  Total freakout!!  I chased him all around the tent, not sure how I could grab him without getting bit.  I finally scooped him into my JetBoil stove pot, where I boil my water, and covered the top with a windshirt.  Then I opened the tent door and threw him out.  Unfortunately, the mouse crapped all over the inside of my pot.  I used several Wet Wipes (antibacterial) to clean it, followed by a water cleaning.  Since I boil water in it, it should kill any bacteria remaining.  Still, it kind of grosses me out.

Next I searched all over the tent for a hole where he got in.  I could not find any.  It was dark and I was using my headlamp.  After a while, I gave up and figured he would be traumatized and would not return.  Wrong!!  He was back within a half hour.  He ran across my arm, which led to another freakout.  I once again chased him around the tent several times before I captured him in my windshirt, and again whipped him out the door.  I did another search for a hole and I found a very small, dime sized hole in the netting near the bottom of the tent.  I put some duct tape on it and considered the problem solved.  Wrong!  He was back again in a half hour.  I whipped him out the door.  He returned.  I whipped him out the door.  This went on all night, maybe 10 times.  I don’t know why I didn’t do something more permanent by the fourth or fifth time.  Guess I was not thinking clearly and I thought there was more than one mouse.   I could never find a second hole.  Every time I threw him out, I looked for a hole, but could not find it.  In the morning, after packing everything but the tent up, I did a thorough search and found another hole in the netting.  In hindsight, I should have thrown the bastard into the waterfall that I was sleeping next to and see if he could swim.  Maybe it would have taken him down stream far enough to not find his way back.  I got very little sleep.

There were lots of climbs today but not as much elevation gain as yesterday.  But, since I did about 4 more miles, I was pretty tired at the end of the day.  I had to do a steep climb at the end of the day to reach a campsite, that I was sure would be full off hikers.  All day long no one passed me on the trail.  Then, suddenly, in the last hour, I was passed by 8 hikers.  The campsite had 4 tent spots, so I figured I would have to find a place in the woods.  This is my big stress at the end of each day as so much of the trail has no suitable place to camp.  If I can’t find a place, I could be walking for hours in the dark looking for a place to setup my tent.  In this case, none of the hikers stopped at the campsite and I had it to myself.  It was a little difficult to see from the trail, and they probably missed it.

Before setting up the tent, I patched the mouse holes with Tenacious Tape.  It was very cold and I had to put on several thermal layers to keep from freezing while getting ready for the night.  My shirt was soak, as it always is, with sweat, making me colder.  I got setup and bundled in my sleeping bag with my down jacket and was quite warm.

This was tricky to walk across.

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So many bridges… So cool.

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No comment..

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Still lots of snow and glaciers in Washington mountains.

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Far too much mud and wet trails to walk through.

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Ooops!  The bridge was out.  A very tricky crossing without getting wet.

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So many waterfalls.

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Bill (Blackhawk Down)

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4 Responses to Day 57

  1. BeeKeeper says:

    That mouse would have pissed me off also. We choose to have a tent for a reason.

  2. Seb says:

    I love this mice story. It will be great bedtime story for your future grandchild 🙂
    Keep the spirit Bill !!!!
    Seb

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