Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day 17: Twin Lakes Junction to Ridge Above Big Hole Pass

Yellowjackets swarmed our tent. They buzzed against the thin green material on the tent door. We cowered inside for a few minutes before pushing out quickly and dashing away from the tent. 

Unfortunately, the yellowjackets aren't just swarming our tent. Whether drawn by our sweet dispositions or our natural floral scents, they find us whenever we stop. At times, I will have several moving about my clothing, another fluttering on my arm, and several more lingering over my pack. With so many wildflowers in bloom, the yellowjackets' attraction to us is mystifying. And exhausting. When the yellowjackets swarm we don't like to stay in one place for too long. 

After the high alpine lakes, streams, and meadows filled with wildflowers, descending to the forested Sheep Creek canyon felt like walking into a fiery furnace. Down we went anyway, collecting cobwebs as we went. Spiders like setting up their webs across the trail, probably because trails attract wildlife, and wildlife attracts insects. 

Wading into the cool creek water was refreshing, which was good because our route crossed back and forth several times. Somehow we also managed to wet our shirts and hats, which helped keep us cool as we hiked back into the sweltering heat of the woods. 

We stopped a few miles beyond Big Hole Pass on the Continental Divide. Both the insects and the heat continue to plague us. We will sleep on top of our sleeping bags, drifting off to the gentle lullaby of a thousand droning insects. 

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