Day 81: Wednesday, July 24

Tenting in a logged clearing (PCT mi 1454.2), walked 25.2 miles today

Around midnight last night, I had some weasel-like animal make a few passes at my food bag, which was sitting right outside my tent. It was pretty cool ... The thing moved so fast and silently and it had a long ringed tail like a raccoon, but it was definitely elongate like a weasel/ferret/marten. It went away for good once I shined the light at it. Never got a picture, even though I had my camera on and ready in case it came back one more time. Woke up at 7 and the other two were gone already, I was totally alone and the woods were very still, silent and gray this morning ... Cloud cover didn't break up until the afternoon and it was pretty humid in the meantime. Eventually ran into the Carrot/Instagate/Spark crew at a water source. Kept playing catch-up with them throughout the day but didn't really see anyone else til the end.

The trail today was extremely mediocre--overgrown with weeds much of the way, short on views, long on brief up-and-downs, and the tread was composed entirely of sticky brown dust which is coating me and my stuff even more than usual tonight. I wonder if the trail ever gets non-dusty at any point ... It's been at its worst lately, the amount of dust in the desert wasn't even close to this level. I washed my hands this morning in the river and, without even touching much of anything today, they're somehow very very dirty again after 12 hours. And my legs and feet are completely caked. What to do.

I can't really remember where the 25 miles went, but apparently I walked them at some point. There really wasn't anything remarkable about them. There was a very hazy view of Shasta at one point. It was hot. At the end of the day I ran into the aforementioned crew plus Robin Hood and two new faces, SciFi and Campfire. All but the last two pushed on to try to make 30 miles, but that's just so passe for me ... I neglected to join and started looking for solo campsites around my 25-mile point. Found one soon enough, it has a little exposure so I can be ventilated, unlike last night where I sweated my ass off. Tomorrow ought to be another 25 or so. Same ol' same ol' and then Friday afternoon I'll be at the interstate.