July 28, 2017
Total daily miles: 28.1 miles (26.6 PCT miles + 1.5 miles from Shelter Cove)
Total PCT miles: 1523.8
Start: Shelter Cove (mile 1904.1)
End: Brahma Lake (mile 1930.7)
Total elevation gain/loss: 3934.4/3060.7 ft
This morning was our first time trying out the DEET that we purchased yesterday. We had limited size options available, so we ended up with a full size aerosol can. I thought this meant that we’d get a nice spray mist and I wouldn’t have to rub it in as much with my hands (since washing hands out here isn’t always straight forward), but all I got was a concentrated stream of spray that I still had to rub in. That said, the bugs definitely seemed to stay away from me for much longer than usual. I’ll take it!
We walked the road back to the side trail that connects with the PCT. Soon, we found ourselves high above Odell Lake with a great view of the early morning sunlight on the lake. It looked like lots of fishermen had already started their day as well as there were lots of little boats scattered around the lake. We continued climbing up in the trees for several miles, but it was all gradual and well graded.
The internal GPS (location services) on my phone was acting up this morning. I couldn’t get my phone to tell me where I was along the trail using the Guthooks app. Not that I needed it to stay on trail, it’s well marked, but it was frustrating because nothing I did seemed to help (restart the app, restart the phone). Luckily, my meet up spot with Michael in the morning was Lower Rosary Lake, which was the first body of water we’d hit so I wouldn’t miss our meet up spot. I grabbed water at the lake while watching fish leaping out of the water going after bugs. The lake was beautiful. There was even someone kayaking on it! I guess they must have used an inflatable boat, because there was no road nearby. By the time we left the lake, my GPS was finally working!
Lower Rosary Lake was the first of many lakes and ponds that we passed in the morning. The trail weaved in and out of the lake areas and for awhile it followed a Nordic ski route that was marked with signs high up on the trees. There was no snow in sight though!
I found a flat piece of trail to stop for lunch. I’ve found it helps if I can lie down for a bit, otherwise I end up with lots of joint pain from holding a single position for too long. It looks like we’ll probably be eating well this section, we have lots of food. For lunch, we had tuna burritos, chips, flattened dried banana, and jerky. A feast!
After lunch, we hiked another 7 miles through the trees and past small ponds until we reached Charlton Lake. It was bigger than I expected and I was excited to take a swim and relax a bit. The water was refreshing and it felt so nice to take a quick dip in the warm afternoon. We met a section hiker at the lake that works in Campo of all places! Best of all, there were no bugs at the lake. They were actually not as bad all day, maybe buying DEET was the key to ending mosquito season? Given the lack of bugs, I opted not to respect my legs again after swimming…
We had another 8 miles after our swim to get to our intended camp spot. We hiked in the trees for a short while, then several miles in an ugly burn zone.
I thought I was happy to be back in the trees after the burn zone, but the bugs had returned! The last couple miles into camp were not fun since I was constantly under attack by the bugs (and Michael had the DEET).
When I finally arrived at Brahma Lake there was a big group of hikers already there that had left Shelter Cove the evening before. They had a fire going and, between the fire and gentle breeze, the area near the fire was fairly bug-free. We joined the group while we ate our dinner (out of our tent!) and then retreated to find a camp spot further away from the lake and group. Hopefully there will be no condensation for us tonight!
Elizabeth: sore right heel; sore throat.