Another 28 day was staring me in the face when I awoke this morning. I was out of camp about 7:30am this morning but my pace wasn’t as scorching as yesterday morning. I fear this is because I didn’t have the motivating prospect of a restaurant meal for lunch to push me on. I was still on a fine pace, however, and reached 13 miles at McFarland Spring about noon. This wasn’t exactly halfway but it was a good water spot, so I took my lunch here and filled up my water bag so I wouldn’t need to stop for water again until I reached the Middle Fork Feather River where I planned to make camp tonight.
I was cruising along in the afternoon without much to report, until a gnat gave me a nose bleed. This was a strange series of events that killed a half hour of hiking time for me while I had to deal with a bloody nose. The last 2 evenings from about 3pm to dark there have been an abundance of annoying little gnat bugs hovering about he trail in large swarms. I was doing my best to keep them out of my nose and eyes but apparently I didn’t do well enough. I was hiking along and somehow one of those little bastards times his flyby perfectly, or imperfectly as I can’t imagine he survived, in tune with my inhale and up the nose he went. Reacting without much thought I gave a quick snort to try and dislodge my nasal intruder and felt it immediately. The inside of my nose felt wet as it began to fill with blood. I actually said out loud, “a [explative deleted] gnat just gave me a [explative deleted] nosebleed.” I have found myself talking to myself a little bit more since I haven’t had anybody to talk to through this stretch but that is probably another post. In unrelated news, I am back in the land of lizards! I must have seen 50 of those little guys scurrying around as I walked by.
Tomorrow I have just over 12 miles to get to the road where I was picked up when I fell ill some 2 months ago. My mother is picking me up there again and we will begin a road trip south, hitting a couple smaller spots I need to fill in on the trail before I get to see my loving wife again. I am so very much looking forward to being home soon.