Mile 996 to 971
I had been warned that the 15 miles below Dorothy Lake are the worst for mosquitoes. One northbounder said he just ducked his head and ran the entire way. Another said it was bad, but not as bad as other places. It is like the passes. Each time l ask which pass is the worst, l get a different answer. I think wherever you happen to be during the worst of the storm is the worst pass. Similarly, I don’t think mosquito misery is determined by location, but environment. If the ground is wet, the air warm, and the wind calm, then that is the worst mosquito location. The next 15 miles, and even more it turns out, meet that mosquito perfect storm, well, perfectly.
Leaving Dorothy Lake I see a Pine Marten scurrying around a log. No time to stop my scurrying, because the mosquitoes are just warming up. This is moving day. Keep moving or you risk being sucked dry and looking like the empty casing left behind after a dragon fly nymph crawls up a water plant and transforms into its flying form.
Constantly moving helps put on the miles, but makes bathroom stops quite difficult. It seems strange to pray for the near hurricane winds I experienced in Patagonia, but its about the only thing that will knock these suckers off their game.
The constant moving makes staying together difficult. No one wants to slow for others, let alone stop and wait. Today there are lots of tricky water crossings, but determining the best action requires stopping to think, something we no longer are willing to do. No time to even take off shoes and socks, I plow through water up to and over my knees.
After 25 miles, I catch up to BLT and DC. We quickly setup tents and dive in for protection. Klutz and Mountain Goat must have setup a camp somewhere behind us. How far, we have no idea.