Mile 1350 to 1379
When I was in the Devil’s Post Pile area a bus driver told me that a couple years ago a freak storm knocked down thousands of trees. It took an actual act of congress to approve an exception to use power tools to clear the trail. Apparently this area has a pathetic congressperson, because the number of downed trees is crazy, and they do not appear to be doing anything, powered or otherwise.
I am not sure what caused these tree blow downs, but I am pretty sure the mosquitoes had something to do with it. Every time I am stopped by a jumbled pile of logs and branches where the trail should be, I hear a buzzing which can only be translated as “well while you’re figuring out that puzzle, let me quickly test your blood pressure.”
The good thing about mosquitoes is they keep you moving. The terrain is not nearly as tough as the Sierra and although the trees are nice, there is nothing particularly spectacular requiring me to stop. I just keep walking. At the Lassen Lava Tube parking lot I get water and make an early dinner. I am entering a 30 mile waterless stretch. I push up to a camp on a dry ridge, making it a long 29 mile day.
I am fascinated by the idea of a falcon perched on my arm. On command he would soar then swoop, knocking a pigeon from the sky. He would return victorious to re-perch on my arm. But what I really want is a bat hanging under my arm. On command he would soar then swoop, consuming a million mosquitoes near my camp. He would return victorious to cling painfully under my arm. To all you animal trainers looking for new markets, you’re welcome.