Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 103 - Mount Washington Wilderness

Monday July 27

My air mattress sprung a leak last night. I ended up sleeping on my Zlite mattress, which certainly is not as comfortable when sleeping on hard ground. I decided that I would stop at South Matthieu lake, about 15 miles away, dunk the mattress in the lake to check for leaks, and try to repair it. I have plenty of time since I am within 30 miles of my next resupply. 

I got on the trail at 5:50 and noticed that the sky was starting to clear. I might get to see the Three Sisters after all! Sure enough, it wasn't long before I had some nice views.

I then passed through the Obsidian Limited Entry area. This is a two mile area that has an abundance of obsidian, a dark volcanic rock from which the natives used to make arrowheads. A special permit is required for entry into the area. My long-distance hiking permit grants me access. The rocks sparkle in the sunlight.

The trail climbed several lava flows. The hiking was difficult because the trail was covered with sharp, abrasive volcanic rock. Often the rocks would roll under my feet. Occasionally I could feel a sharp rock through the sole of my shoe, or worse yet, poking the side of my foot. I'm sure it put a lot of wear on my shoes.

At noon I reached South Matthieu lake. I dunked my air mattress and found two small leaks. Fortunately I had a repair kit, and I patched the holes. I felt good about my field repairs!

By mid-afternoon the trail climbed another lava flow for two miles. It was difficult hiking and my legs were tired. Even after the trail left the lava flow, the area is entirely comprised of volcanic rocks. The trail is littered with all sizes of rocks, making it difficult to walk without stumbling. I decided to camp at 3:30. 

I am camped at PCT mile 1995.1. 
I hiked 25.2 miles today. The elevation here is 5,329 feet. 

By the way, I am laying here on my repaired air mattress! So far so good. Yippee!

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