July 2: Day 15: (15 miles… felt like 30) 1776 – 1790.9
Morning started with Paul seeing two white swans. I only saw two white blobs, as my eyes were swollen from having mistakenly rubbed them the night before with bug spray on my hands. Unlike most mornings of late, all our gear was dry, to include our socks!
This morning’s miracle would not last long as the day’s trail required that we fully immerse our feet in icy cold streams and slick mud for a good part of the day.
We passed countless amazing meadows and lakes. The area was so pristine it begged for “civilization”.
We picked several places along the way we would have built a cabin or two.
It was probably the most beautiful day we had had so far. The scenery was spectacular, almost too good to be true.
As the day progressed so did the fervor of the mosquitos. They seemed to be multiplying exponentially. Hordes of them followed behind each of us, and when we stopped for a breather they surrounded us like a buzzing fog. One could easily be driven crazy by this. This made the assault on Hat Pass even more so rigorous. Nevermind that the path was filled with a stream of water running downhill in it, and that each step awoke a new horde of mosquitos that joined their brethren in their torturous assault upon us.
Or, the fact that the elevation gain on these beach lungs and legs was wearing to both. By this time we had no choice but to don our rain gear and head nets to avoid the sting of their needle noses, and to ensure we maintained sufficient blood volume.
So, sticky with sweat and feet wilting from being wet with a few blisters coming into full bloom, we emerged over Hat Pass “triumphant” in that a slight breeze kept the mosquitos at “bay”… briefly. The view was breathtaking, in so many ways.
Now for the descent. The plan was to get as far as we could, to set us up for the next day, and get into Pinedale for our resupply. We reached another pass. This time NOT snow capped, but teaming with mosquitos!
We had no choice but to set up and retreat to our nylon fortress.