Day 92, 28 miles
Russian Wilderness Marble Mountains Kalmath National Forest
I got up in the night to water a tree. In the darkness I saw a grey object close to my tent. What is that? I don’t remember a big rock there. I got my headlight from my tent and turned it towards the object. Oops! It’s another tent. Light off. I have a neighbour. I fell asleep before it got dark last night. They must have come in late. They were quiet and I was hard asleep.
In the morning my neighbour didn’t stir. Before I left camp I noted, tiny pack, ultra light cuben fiber tent, shredded running shoes with orange laces. Definitely a pct thru hiker. I will watch for a hiker with orange laces so I can find out who my mystery late night neighbour is.
The ridge trail skirted the shady side of the mountains all morning. It was a perfect cool temperature. I stopped to take of my warmer layers and I heard the sound of branches snapping coming from uphill. It was a deer. I crouched down by my pack. The deer’s ears perked forward when she saw me. She headed my direction, curious and looking at me. She got within a few yards of me, then she crossed the trail and continued down the mountain side.
Later I disturbed a fat grouse off the trail. It flew up to a nearby branch.
As I was sitting on the trail for a quick snack break another hiker came towards me. He introduced himself. Rafiki. He is hiking 16 hours a day, 40 miles. I looked at his shoelaces. Yellow. Nope.
Again I ended my day early, 6:30pm, at Bear Cub Springs. There is a short trail to the spring. There was a nice spot for my tent along the trail, so I dropped my pack before heading down the rest of the way, to the spring. Without my heavy pack on my back it felt felt like someone had me by the scruff of my neck and was pulling me up and along the trail. It was a strange sensation.
A hiker came along to camp there too. Grey laces. Nope. (He was a Nobo section hiker anyway) He had a long trail name which I can’t remember. I do remember it had a reference to Freddie Kruger, which should have caused me concern.