PCT 2007 – Day 88 – Smedberg Lake – Grace Meadow

Day 88 6-21-07 Tarp Tent 8620′
Smedberg Lake – Grace Meadow
24.5 miles; 993.4 (48.4) total miles; 2883.4 trip miles
80’s, sunny

Deer count is 57
Marmot count is 47
Pika count is 2
Bear count is 1
!!!The Bears are on the board. In a late day showing, the Bears sent in one of their larger players who was very reddish in color. The deer countered with a late showing as well when a buck came by camp.!!!

The mosquitoes finally died down last night as I typed. In the AM they were almost non-existent. Silver, Back Track, and I were up and on the trail by 6:15. Of course, it was an uphill that lead into another down hill almost at the point where we went up. It was kindía like a P.U.D (Pointless Up and Down) on the Appalachian Trail.

Back Track battling the bugs

We descended down to around 8700′ then had to climb Seavey Pass at 9150′. The climb was felt by all of us. It wasn’t as bad at the first one, which I really felt. I saw a deer on the lower slopes. Just before the top, there was what the data book called, “Wind free – sparkling pond”. It was more of a mosquito factory if you ask me. There were lots of stagnant ponds throughout the day.

We dropped down a 3 mile descent to Kerrick Canyon at 7960′, then climbed up to a shallow gap where we had lunch. We took a long lunch and enjoyed ourselves. We descended once more to Stubblefield Canyon Creek, then back up to Macomb Ridge Pass, and then down to Wilmer Lake. We saw bear tracks in the mud at the lake. The mosquitoes at Wilmer Lake were the worst I have ever experienced. As the three of us walked, we had a cloud around us. When you looked at the person in front of you just saw swarms of mosquitoes. It was insane. When we got to a creek, just before the Jack Main Canyon Trail, we just walked right through it without stopping. We didn’t care about getting our shoes wet since the bugs were so bad.

The bugs let up as we ascended out on top of the opening. We took a short break and I got water, then we climbed some more to a rocky open area where we cooked dinner. The bugs weren’t bad at first but the longer we stayed the worse they got. From that point until we stopped, they were almost as bad as Wilmer Lake. I couldn’t stop moving my arms or I would end up with mosquitoes all over them. Having a long sleeve shirt helped but they still bite through it. I must have killed hundreds today. It was a killing spree of unmatched numbers.

We finally found a spot just south of Grace Meadow. As Silver and Back Track were going to set up the bear rope, I looked in their direction and across the creek from us I saw a large animal moving right to left. I instantly knew it was a bear. It was very big and reddish in color. We watched it move past us then double timed it up to the meadow hoping it would come out into the open. It stuck to walking just inside the woods across the meadow from us. I never got a picture of it. It made my day, I was really hoping to see a bear soon and today looked like such the right place. When we got back to camp and were putting up the food, I saw a good size buck walk by along the creek.

I washed up and it was time to sleep. All in all it was a good day. Tomorrow we’re going to have damp gear since there’s condensation on the inside of my tent already.
During today’s hike we walked through some beautiful areas – some were granite mountain sides with trees growing out of cracks and at other times we hiked through pines forest with very low shrubs carpeting the forest floor. Our trail cut right through it and looked like a winding snake. It was very pretty. The woods here are different from the High Sierras, which had no underbrush and just rocks, pine cones and dead trees on the forest floor. Here it’s the same; but there’s also a carpet of green plants and shrubs. It was a beautiful day of hiking despite the bugs.

Scatman 2011- This was the worst day for bugs on the whole trip. ¬†Hands down nothing came close to this. ¬†I’m talking so thick they looked like a cloud, and I’m not exaggerating either. ¬†I dealt with them since it was so amazing beautiful as most days were on the trip. ¬†Seeing the extremely large bear was great. ¬†I couldn’t contain myself.

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Scatman

Get out there!

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1 Comment

  1. I got into a system of camping on exposed ridges so the air flow kept the bugs and condensation down. I didn’t use my tent for a loooooong time and only used the head net sparingly. Some deet though.