Day 66 (Pete)

The morning we went from Showers lake to Echo lake the snow was icy hard and pitted out with sun cups. The lower elevations make route finding extremely difficult. Before, we were above tree line a great deal of the time. Peaks could be used as references and the topography of the land was much easier to observe. Down lower, we are lost in a maze of forests and gullies. After about two hours of such wandering, Dylan pointed down to the other side of a drainage. A twenty foot section of trail emerged only to permanently disappear. “Oh look,” he said, “the trail. Were saved.” Thank God, were not going to die.

Today we went over 9200 ft. Dick’s Pass shortly after breakfast. There wasn’t much snow cover and we were up down and out rather quickly. The view to the north was nothing but green rolling hills. We have gone about eighteen miles since that view and haven’t encountered so much as a drift.

The mosquitoes are swarming literally in the thousands. They can’t really get us when we’re moving. Thankfully, we are doing so most of the day. Appropriate armor is required upon halting. The little buggers can’t get through fleece. We also augmented our defense with headnets purchased in Tuolomne Meadows. Regardless, they are extremely pestering and annoying. Besides, the reason they are out in force in that it is warmer out. Hardly optimal conditions for wearing fleece pants, jackets, and gloves. I noticed that when absentmindedly bending over to stretch or pick something up that my jacket creeps up and anywhere from twenty to thirty bloodsuckers are immediately drawn to the temporarily exposed inch of flesh. For camp we set up the tent just for respite. One got in and I gladly executed it.

The terrain is predominately low heavily forested hills. It cuts down on the views. We do, however, get occasional glimpses of large Lake Tahoe to the East.

Echo Lake Chalet’s dusty bookshelf was too much of a temptation for me. I stole a biography of Eugene V. Debs perhaps the most famous socialist in American history. The days are long. We did twenty five and have plenty of light left. In addition, out lives have slipped into a routine. The terrain changes yet we still maintain the same patters. So, its nice to have the option of escaping to the 1870’s in Terra Huate Indiana. Dyl and I don’t really need to talk much anymore. Besides, he’s always looking at the guide book.

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