Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lava Rocks

Day 106-July 28th
Destination: MM 1788ish
Miles: 25.5 (plus 0.2 off trail miles)
Cumulative Miles: 1463

It happened again. We aren't certain it was a bear, but we took no chances. Something was stomping around outside our tent, and fled when we yelled at it, but it came back. It was leaving us restless, so we packed up and moved away from our cozy little nook. Perhaps it was the cozy little nook of some animal, and we had taken it when they were away, like Goldilocks.

Moving to another site was a little more difficult, as Apricots' head lamp had dead batteries, but we managed to get ourselves to a new site, a little lumpy, but at eleven at night anything will do.

Despite our midnight move, we woke feeling fairly rested, and churned out eight miles before taking a break. We only did so because we needed the water which we pumped from a well outside of the small South Brown Mountain Shelter, a cute little hut with a wood stove and room for four or five people.

After leaving the shelter, we skirted around Brown Mountain, which offered great fields of old lava flow. The large grey-black rocks lay scattered across the hillside like some sort of rock slide, and the trail cut right through it. The trail was formed out of a red pumice stone laid in a bed through the grey-black lava. From a distance the hillside looked like a rough chalkboard, with a loosely straight line of red chalk drawn across it.

After eighteen miles we took a lunch break, much later than usual. We rested a bit after lunch and then churned out another 7.5 miles. These came with relative ease, but the mosquitoes were out in full force. We had been told by some southbounders that the mosquitoes were intense in this area, and they didn't exaggerate. We ate dinner in our tent to stay away from their fiendish ways. Hopefully this decision won't come back to haunt us with midnight visitors.

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