I had one goal in mind this particular day: Take care of myself. If it became too sunny, I would cover exposed skin. Powder for chaffing. Tape immediately went on the feet when I felt any hot spots. Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate. However, I was not looking forward to having to drink lake water. I have a hierarchy for water sources: 1.) spring. 2.) creek or stream. 3.) lake or pond 4.) river 5.) cesspool.
Indie called me a "water snob" on the PCT. I prefer the term "water connoisseur." Anyhow, to my delight, about a quarter mile before reaching Watson Lake, I heard the sound of running water. My soul leaped for the heavens when I saw a fresh, crystal clear, ice cold mountain stream rolling down the hillside. Water does a body and spirit good. I took a break by this stream for over a half an hour drinking as much water as I could. When hiking long distances, water and food take on new meaning. The body really feels like a machine, and water is like the oil that keeps the gears moving. Urine is the test whether or not enough water is inside the body. Most people assume urine is supposed to be yellow. While hiking, clear urine is the sign that the body is in good shape. Any discoloration is the sign to drink more. I drank until I "passed the test," and left the creek happy and relieved, no pun intended!
Now that I was hydrated, my next goal was not to hike too far. I passed Watson Lake (was glad I didn't have to drink that water) and hiked a few more miles until I found an excellent lunch spot with great views. I rested under a large pine tree after eating. My break was over an hour and a half. I was feeling better more and more.
After taking a short nap, some mountain bikers arrived at the top of the hill. After talking for a few minutes, I found out that one of the bikers had hiked the PCT back in 1999. After they left, I heard what sounded like a gunshot in the woods. A few minutes later, I hiked upon them and noticed that they were changing a flat tire on one of the bikes. Sure enough, the sound was from the rear tire exploding when it hit a rock on the trail the wrong way.
Later in the afternoon, I was lost in thought and saw another hiker coming towards me. Instantly, I recognized the face and said, "Adam Bradley!"
Adam had no idea who I was naturally. Adam co-holds the PCT speed record with Scott Williamson, having hiked the entire trail in 65 days, 9 hours, and 58 minutes! I recognized his face from pictures and his blog FSTPKR. He was super friendly, and gave me a lot of water tips. He hikes and runs around Tahoe often so it was good to get some expert advice.
I ended up setting up camp around 5:00. My goal was accomplished of taking it easy and taking care of my needs. All of a sudden I noticed a lot of buzzing inside my tarp. As it turned out, I set up my shelter right over an underground bees nest. They looked like bumblebees. They didn't seem to mind that I was there though. I decided to look for an alternative spot but couldn't find anything that would guarantee a good night's sleep. I decided to just let them be, no pun intended of course. I figured that if they didn't mind I was there, I didn't mind either. Thankfully, they, along with the mosquitoes, went to sleep shortly after the sun went down...