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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

August 7

August 11th, 2015



August 7
Pear Lake to Sally Anne Lake 11 miles (not counting detour) 7:30-2:45

Lost and found, Maximum Blueberries
This was a day for the ages. Slept by Pear Lake. When we had come in on a side trail, there were lots of people camped in a single flat spot, so we walked to the other end of lake where we found a site by the water. Bennett found a PCT sign on the trail just up from us, so we would not have to back-track to get on trail in the morning. Very cold and ultimately wet night–dew soaked everything. We didn’t get started until 7:30 but had good hour hike up and down. When we got to a cross trail, Bennett scratched his head. It was clear we were not on the PCT. From where we stood, we could see what we thought was the PCT high on a ridge across the valley (you can often pick out the route of the trail at a great distance, lines drawn on the side of mountain). At the crossroads, there was a trail marked “abandoned” that looked as though it went there, so we decided to chance it rather than backtrack. It was still easy to follow (at first), parts were over grown and difficult, but it was heading in the right direction so we pressed on. When we got halfway up the ridge it fizzled out. Occasionally we could find faint bits of it, but we were mostly in blueberry brambles (the first and last time I spoke ill of that noble bush). Finally we had to bushwhack straight up the ridge, concerned that we may have overshot the PCT or that it would have dropped over the other side of the ridge too far down to find. We kept comparing our two maps, but neither were conclusive. After a hard struggle we gained the top of the ridge and right in front of us was the trail. Exhausted and soaking wet, we spread out sleeping pads and baked in the sun for a bit. Decided to hike short the rest of the day, so we ended up with an official 11 miler, also by a lake. Expected cold later that night, but for now we have all our stuff spread drying in the sun, grateful for an early end to a ridiculously difficult day.