Day 64: Sunday, July 7

Sleeping in an ACTUAL SHELTER, the Ludlow Ski Hut by Richardson Lake (PCT mi 1120.6), walked ~23 miles today

Set no alarm but woke up around 6:45 anyway and was going by 7:30. Aloha Lake after a few miles was quite spectacular, a throwback to the High Sierra. There were good lakes all throughout today, come to think of it. Climbed up Dicks Pass, did not see the anatomical snow art that I'd heard is often present at the top in years past. Had been alone til then, but found thru-hikers at the top--Sexy Legs, whom I knew already, and Rafiki, Johnny Reb and a British fellow named Simon, whom I did not. They were hilarious and we hung out for awhile talking food and bodily functions, mostly.

Ambled through the afternoon, hiking at times with Legs and/or Simon, and at about 6:30, which is normally way too early to stop for me, got to this lake. It had a multitude of very nice camping areas all around, including this Sierra Club hut which we eventually discovered on the other side. The front door was locked so to get in, I had to climb a ladder to the second story, open a door that leads out of a wall onto nothing, climb down from the loft and undo the bar on the main door from the inside. Back outside, more hikers were stopping for the night, including Messenger, his visiting cousin Gili (also Israeli), Chozen One, Dirtbag, Johnny Reb, Rafiki, a guy named Jug, Britta and Karen. Messenger is obsessed with building fires and cooking anything and everything on them, so he got working on that. Jug disappeared for 30 minutes and came back soaking wet but holding a crayfish from the lake, which he and Rafiki then boiled and ate. Messenger and Gili carry flour so the latter worked up some bread dough ... Chozen One tried too but he was competing with a pro and his dough did not exactly have the perfect consistency, while hers did. She baked some of it by wrapping strips of it around a stick in a spiral (see pictures), then they handed out the rest for people to make their own calzones with whatever food they happened to have in their personal stash. After awhile the fire got too hot and one of the rocks that was under/in contact with the coals exploded ... No one was hurt, which was kind of lucky, but a little flaming rocklet landed on my pack and bored a hole in the fabric. Ended up staying out well after dark and left when there were a series of explosions of smaller rocks ... I've never been useful for much around campfires and I figured I'd leave that problem to the guys who started it. Went over to the hut around 10 and laid out on one of the dining tables inside to go to sleep. No tent hassle and no bugs ftw.