June 10 – Make Your Own Wind / Biting Flies are BAD

Red Carpet Water Cache to Pine Canyon (mile 511)
26.3 miles

We had the best hiking morning ever: scenic, cool, and under a canopy of oaks. Conditions deteriorated quickly at mile 500, literally. This milestone is one I had looked forward to. As we approached the marker, it seemed a proper location to enjoy lunch. Within minutes the temps quickly rose, the breeze died, and a plethora of at least 5 different types of biting, vicious, diving flies descended. You see Silly Chili is a magnet for all biting bugs, I am not. I watched him go into a frenzy, load up his pack, and take off. All I heard was, “Make your own wind!” and he was gone. He ran in the hot afternoon 5 miles uphill in 1 hour. I found him later huddled under a tree donning his rain jacket, pants, and head net. This was a very sad sight. I on the other hand slowly climbed the hill, using my bandana to swat flies, and dreamed of making snow angels. I do have to admit during this miserable time I contemplated my choice for ever hiking this trail, especially after passing 2 rattlesnakes.

The trail then descended steeply for miles and our fly friends continued to join us. My knees were killing me and I accidentally dropped my iPhone while popping Ibuprofen. I realized this of course a few miles down the trail. Silly eagerly started running up the hill to retrieve the phone. I kept going. Just as I reached the trail head, Dan was there to meet us and Silly came running down with my phone and believe it or not he liked the whole running experience. He is a machine. We celebrated finishing hiking the last miles of Southern California (108 miles in 4 days) with cold sparkling lemon water, chips, and apples. Yaaaaay. Oh and of course our friends the flies joined us.

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10 Comments

  1. Erin,

    Look forward to you and Rockin’ doin’ some hikin’ together. And reading all about it.

    • Hi Warren! We are excited to hike together too! At this rate, I’m training to do the big miles so I don’t slow her down! I’m headed to Hells Canyon next week to toughen up the feet!

  2. 108 miles in four days, wahoooo!!

    And 500, wahooo!!

    Havin’ fun, wahooo!!!

    Bugs, skeeters, mosquitos, yuck. Glad you made it through all that.

    • I am a lucky girl. Today it was 104 in Bakersfield. I would have had to night hike everything and then miss seeing the terrain. Would have been a BIG bummer. Although night hiking is very cool experience.

  3. Southern California, check!…The first of many you’ll be checking off the list on your way to Canada this summer! With this mileage, you’ll blow thru OR. I’m ready for ya and training for the big miles! Love the picture of you and Grant:)

    • Really?!?! I was so looking forward to leisure hiking Oregon, while embracing the mosquitoes. Is any of the trail really flat?Have to admit I am scared out of my mind to hike solo, in unknown territory, and way ahead of the pack again. I was spoiled hiking with Dan and Silly. I am so glad you are joining me for part of Oregon! Yaaaaay

      • Oreon will fly by. Lots of peaceful hiking in nice woods. Everyday brings a new milestone…or major landmark, so that’s fun. The southern section has more ups and downs, but after the 3 Sisters section (Especially Ollalie to Mt Hood where I’ll be with you) is where everyone flies downhill and makes personal best mileage days of the whole trail. If timing works out, camp at Maiden Peak Snow Hut(mile 1920.7) just a bit after Shelter Cove. It is down a hill on the right side of the trail and in the woods, but it’s there and there is a sign high up on a tree along the trail. It’s hard to spot if you don’t know where to look.

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