PCT Day 71: Mile 972.5-991.5 Mosquito Invasion



There are 2 great motivations to keep moving on the PCT: 1) Long term, winter will set in with late September. 2) Short term, if you dont keep moving, you’ll starve. (if that doesnt work the mosquitoes north of Tuolumne Meadows will eat you alive!)

I woke next to Lake Benson, sleeping in late again and started my day. Quill who warned me she usually slept late was still snoozing in her tent as I packed up. By the time I had my pack on she was up, disturbed by the loud birds and couldnt keep alseep. I said my fairwells and pressed on headed back to the trail.

It wasnt half a mile before I heard a “Baaahhhhhh” in the distance, and I looked up. It was Happy! Somehow he had gotten turned around and went to the lake by mistake as he navigated his way in the morning light. He had camped just 2 miles before the lake and I was glad to see him. We chatted on before getting moving on the trail.

The trail was lush and green here, so lush there was moss and ferns began to spring up, where I handnt seen them for miles. It reminded me of the PNW a bit. We started gaining right away and I put it in low gear as I climbed. The morning light was gorgeous and I snapped pictures left and right. Soon I popped out at a beautiful lake. I paused for a moment to take it in and snackl a bit when the mosquitoes found me, and I was hard pressed to keep moving.

Soon Happy popped up over the pass and we continued on chatting away as we went. Through the emeral forest we hiked and gazing in the distance of the towering granit moutnains we appreciated the Sierras while they still lasted. Down into a valley we crossed lakes and streams, life was abundand, and so were the mosquitoes.

We were faced with another climb and pressed on, step after grueling step. Happy was having some shin splint issues and took his time, which was just fine by me as I was in no hurry. I waited for him at the pass, and reunited we bombed down the other side chattin on about our favorite shows and things we might watch if we were home

We nosedived down into the valley that housed Wilma Lake, fed by Falls Creek via Jack Main Canyon. We followed the creek up, and noticed it seemed to become almost marshy near the rolling creek. The mosquitoes started coming out in full force. I had never seen them this bad in my entire life and they stuck to us like moths to a flame. Soon after some miles of shooing and slapping away the preditors, we found our camp.

We set up tents and dove inside. They stuck to our bug nets by what seemed, the hundreds. It was crazy how adament they were. Both Happy and I were covered in bites from the miles of walking through their territory. Everything was done from the confines of our tents, and after food and stretching night fell and soon our heads with it.