Stormy Lake to Maiden Peak Shelter

Waking up at Stormy Lake made for a particularly difficult morning. With mosquitoes out in force, we ate a quick cold breakfast and skipped coffee. My morning bowel movement made going outside a necessity, an act I paid for with dozens of bites where the sun don’t shine. Appreciate your ability to poop without getting assaulted by bugs, appreciate it.

Another thing long-distance hiking has in common with military deployments – appreciate the little things. I never had to dig catholes when on deployment, but we did have a gang bathroom. Toilets were lined in two rows of 5 or 6, so close that your knees would touch the guy in the adjacent stalls. The end stalls were always taken first and the most disgusting. There is something unsettling about feeling a stranger’s leg muscles tighten as they squeeze one out next to you. Appreciate the little things.

Outpacing the mosquitoes was easy once we got moving and it made for a good motivator to keep moving. Brianna and I made a goal to hike 20 miles and stop at the Maiden Peak shelter for the night. Not having to set up the tent in mosquitoville was a major factor. Shelters are pretty rare on the PCT, being able to stay at one is a pretty cool opportunity if the miles line up right, which they did.

We pushed a hard hiking day and made it to the shelter at exactly 4:00 pm. Plenty of more time left in the hiking day, but this was our goal and here we are, playing rummy and enjoying the lack of mosquitoes. The shelter has benches big enough for sleeping along 3 of the 8 walls and a second floor with enough space to sleep a dozen or so more. No one else is here yet, but it’s early!

Tomorrow we head into Shelter Cove to pick up our first resupply boxes. They have showers and laundry there too! With only 9.2 miles to Shelter Cove, we should be able to get there early, do what we need/want to do, and get back on the trail for more miles.

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