June 16, 2014

Mosquitoes and Honey Crack

Dropping into Toulomine Meadows was exciting. I had a lot of ice cream and resupplied my food for 8 days. 60 food items made itin my cart in hopes that it would be enough for mybear ofa stomach to make it to south Lake Tahoe.  I was excited for all of the food, because a lot of it was things I'd never brought on the trail. I even bought this energy gu just to give it a try. As I threw away unnecessary boxes that my food was in, I talked to many hikers. Some were going on a weekend trip, hiking the JMT, or hiking the PCT.  Pretty soon half of the day was gone, because there were so many great conversations. Before long, I packed up all of my belongings and headed out to the trail at 1 pm. Ugh, my pack was heavy!  I  had to have packed at least 15-20 pounds of food plus a 3 pound bear canister.  This was going to be rough!

5 miles into the trail, and it was time to rest.  When I got up from my nap,  I still felt extremely tired. I tried to push my body, but it wasn't convinced after 3 miles. My mind was tired to the point I could have just laid on the trail and slept. I was at the point of pure exhaustion.  Was that really it for the day? 8 miles in 4 hours ?! Oh I'm getting worse!  Sugar wasn't even working! I took out this little packet of performance gu. I'd never eaten it before, but had heard it was like honey in a pouch. With how tired I was, I figured this was the best time to try something like this.  I was ready to test its true effectiveness.  As I downed the 100 calorie packet, I thought, "That's not much, I'm sure I'll be stopping in a mile to set up camp." 

5 minutes later, my mind and body was fully loaded with energy. It was incredible! I was completely focused on the trail and my body was zooming!  As I charged through meadows full of Mosquitoes,  I exclaimed, "You can't catch me Mosquitoes! " I was wrong!  Those newly hatched blood suckers were swarming me like I was their first meal.  There were thousands of them!  I changed right through their party,  and looked at my white shirt all peppered in parasites. Before long my shirt was speckled with my own blood that the Mosquitoes had drank before I smacked them.  A maddening full body itch was starting to come over me and I had no choice but to get somewhere else. Apparently that 100% deet needed reapplied.

All of a sudden I saw a naked man, about 200 feet in the distance, bathing in a stream.  I quickly stopped, and most likely had a very uneasy look on my face.  My first thought, "What do I do? Awkward! Why is he doing this in the middle of a trail?  A straight line that people walk on!" Once he saw me awkwardly standing in the distance, he hurried to put his clothes back on. As I passed, I laughed and said, "I sure have good timing!" He said, "I thought there was no one around!" I laughed again, hurried on my way, and thought of some better things I could have said in that situation. "Aw dang", I thought,  "my lack of wittfulness sometimes."

I looked down and it had been 2 hours since I took the gu. I had gone 8 miles! Whoa! Talk about energy overload! That was unbelievable!  I hiked another 2 miles and set up my tent in awe of my new food that I renamed "honey crack". Is this stuff legal? I kept asking myself. 4 miles per hour is super quick for a 5'2 female bounding over boulders, fording through streams, maneuvering around snow drifts, and gaining major elevation.

The next morning I woke up next to a beautiful lake, stretched, and danced to my music as the sun was rising.  One of the songs even included "Hakuna Matata" off of the Lion King.  For me, it was perfect for that moment in time.  Every cell in my body was  rejuvenated from such laughter and fun. 

Later that day, I even took a shower in an ice cold waterfall that made me scream to the top of my lungs.  My kind of luxury at its finest, and I was enjoying every second of it!


  1. Here down east the talk is a insecticide one sprays on ones' clothes and let dry. Non toxic Which reminds me, I have to get a bottle. Oh yeah, deer ticks, mosquitos, what we call 'moose flies, take chunks out of you almost the size of capers.'you name it and abundant.

    It's called Permethrin if you haven't yet heard of it.