Friday, July 23, 2010

Mile 1120.6: Dick's Pass, Mosquitos


As we were getting ready to go to sleep, we heard rocks crunching and bushes shaking. Immediately, both Microburst and I said "Hey!" in our best loud and deep anti-bear voices. We did manage to startle our intruder, but we needn't have: it was Drugstore, literally stumbling drunk into camp. My inability to dedect inebriation had me wondering, "Why is he still talking about all this really stupid stuff when we're clearly ignoring him?" "Is that the sound of Drugstore vomiting or gargling naturopathic something?" He didn't feel too great this morning.

As we hiked up toward Dick's Pass, we saw some gorgeous views of the Desolation Wilderness. I was expecting desolate, stark ugliness, despite all the rumors of beauty. It was beautiful: tons of glacier carved granite, clear alpine lakes, gnarled old trees, jagged mountain peaks, and patches of snow. The coolest and most desolate were the gnarled dead trees sticking up out of the middle of the clear alpine lakes.

We had heard about Dick's Pass being snowy from southbound hikers, but the snow must be melting super fast, there were only a few patches by the time we came through today, barely worth mentioning. The mosquitos, waiting below in the forest, with their probiscii bared and ready, are worth mentioning however. I think I've encountered worse in Alaska, but my brain does it's best to suppress such unpleasant memories as those. In the evening, when they were at their worst, the only skin I left exposed was on my hands, and multiple times I looked down to see at least four or five blood-sucking fiends latched on. I've noticed a phenomenon over the last month or so, and it held true today too: mosquitos seem to prefer my right arm better than my left. My theory is that the mosquitos are worst in the afternoon and evening, and my left side is my west side after 12pm, so the Mosquitos choose my shady right side.

We ate lunch with Granite, Terrapin, and Drugstore at the top of Dick's Pass. Unfortunately, in an effort to be helpful, I added the couscous and dehydrated beans to our lunch while Micro was still cooking. I didn't remember that those things sink to the bottom and immmediateky burn on. In my defense, Micro did remember and didn't say anything when I asked "Shall I add?" before I poured in the offending substances. It was pretty much ruined, but we ate it anyway. I hope that's the worst lunch we have on this whole trip.

We also stopped with the other hikers to swim in Middle Velma lake, which was so refreshing. The water was clear and cool but not cold, and it got deep fast, an excellent trait to those like me who hate anything at all touching, especially feet, when swimming in fresh water.

- Typoed on my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I have only been to Lake Tahoe twice before but never had the chance to hike.

    I hope to return next Spring and will definitely try to get out at least one day.