Yesterday was pretty uneventful after I saw the big bear. I walked until I was very tired, about 15 miles, and made camp around 1730. I found a stealth spot near the trail that was perfect in most respects.
Except for the ants. After I was all set up and lying down, I noticed there sure was a lot of those big black ants crawling all over me and everything else. But they don’t generally bite, so I spent the evening flinging ants off me and swatting mosquitoes.
At dark I zipped my rainfly down to stay a little warmer, which stopped the mosquito problem, although the ants could still get under. That’s when the deer came out. They would come close to me and huff at each other, then get spooked and bound off. Then a little later they would come back and do it again. And again. For about two hours.
It was during this time I heard coyotes yipping not too far away.
Then around midnight, when I was finally getting some sleep, I got visited by Mr. Mouse. He was very persistent for about three hours and I would have gladly killed the fucker if I could have. I was able to successfully defend my food (there in the shelter with me), but it ate part of my hat and some of a trekking pole grip and a little of my umbrella grip. Where’s an owl when you need one?
Then it got cold and I eventually got up to hike (right at first light) so I could get warm. It’s another nice day but there is a lot of drift smoke so I can’t see much of the Trinitys.
I’m feeling much better about my hike. Once I accepted that I still have two months of suffering, I decided to buck up and get on with it. Also, talking to other hikers it seems like everyone has had some kind of hiccup in their hike. I’ll just hike my own hike and it will be what it is. I really like going slow and taking lots of breaks, not that I could do much else right now. I plan to keep enjoying myself and moving north until my time runs out.
Thanks for all the encouragement!