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.
So many bridges… So cool.
Still lots of snow and glaciers in Washington mountains.
Far too much mud and wet trails to walk through.
Ooops! The bridge was out. A very tricky crossing without getting wet.
So many waterfalls.
Bill (Blackhawk Down)