Day 79: The biting flies come out

Day 79
July 6
mile 1111-1133.6
22.6 miles

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I didn’t sleep much last night because the wind was too loud and strong. And the bugs also wouldn’t leave me alone!
During the morning hours, I ran into a woman hiking south, who asked me where I was going. “Canada”, I said, as I always do. She stared at me in shock. I told her that I was hiking the entire PCT from the Mexican border and she wanted to know when I had started. Again, she couldn’t seem to comprehend how I could be out here for that long. She said that she was planning to be out for four days, which was the longest backpacking trip she had attempted. I told her I was just taking many four day trips in a row! “Canada is a long way from here,” she said as we walked away from one another. Eh- if you have the time, nearly everything is within walking distance…
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Yesterday, the wind had picked up and it continued into today. And although the mosquitoes were still around, biting flies and bees added to the annoyances on the trail. I stopped to collect water at a stream, and was attacked by flies the whole I time I sat filtering my water. Two hikers came along while I was there- Scat Tracker and Unicroc! They told me about their stay in South Lake Tahoe. When they mentioned how expensive the motels were to the woman who drove them, she offered her backyard to them to sleep in, and also cooked some food for them!
I had to get away from the annoying flies and told them I would see them later. A few minutes later, I found a place slightly off the trail to sit for a lunch break. Unicroc and Scat Tracker walked on. When I saw them again at Barker Pass, they were confused as to how they had gotten ahead of me! Some campers had a big spread of food on the picnic table, but no one invited us over. I climbed up the hill and found a little secluded area in the woods with a view of a lake to have a snack. The trail had been in the forest most of the day, but in the last few miles of my day, it opened up along a ridge.
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As dusk approached, I looked down into a wooded section off the ridge and wondered if I should camp down there, seeing that the terrain ahead was all exposed. I decided against it and kept walking. Minutes later, I found a more easily accessible place to camp below the trail. I hiked off the trail and walked over to a patch of dirt beside a tree, feeling like I had found the perfect spot! The evening light on the trees was incredibly beautiful. Unfortunately, I noticed that the frame of my sunglasses had cracked above the lens. This trail was destroying everything! My headphones had disintegrated a couple of weeks ago, and although I had mentioned this to a couple of people from home, hoping they could send a replacement, both ignored me. I wondered what the little store in Soda Springs might have.
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