Friday, August 11, 2017
PCT mile 1966, I sit at a valley over look before me is a mountain with a double peak of black and red volcanic stone, inbetween forest bisected by a meadow lush green fed by a meandering stream. I'm about 6 miles into a 20 mile day, moving is slow, hips and heels ache yet, I'm in love with the sweet smell of the wildflowers I encountered around the southern sisters peak. Sorry I didn't know the true name of this peak.
SoBo's mix with NoBo's who mix with weekenders in this beautiful region. Unless we break at the same areas the conversations tend to be an exchange of grunts. I've counted 20 plus SoBo's in the last 36 hours. I ponder how many NoBo's they've counted? I avoided Elk Lake detour as I heard it was another vortex of nero and zeros.
Ah the smell of wildflowers is a delight.
2pm at PCT mile 1975.5. I met Badger, the author of Appalachian Trials, around another bend an hour ago. I just finished a brutal uphill switchback series through a bbq of red stone. The trail today ales us though the lava fields of the Willamette region. Quit stunning how the trail weaves in and out of forest however, there are areas where one must be in the bbq.
Badger didn't hang long. He needed miles. I did note he's traveling light. The most popular SoBo pack is the Gossamer Gear Mariposa which handles 20 lbs and not much more. He, like many, SoBo's move easily. I really need to rethink my kit when I get home, ditch the extras I like so I can just move.
I hear thunder to my south. I have 4 1/2 miles left on today. Thunder as of late hasn't produced rain, just noise.
There's been a few areas I've sat with my own thoughts without care of writing them down.
I passed some more incredible scenery along the way, in and out of lava fields and finally into the forest. Grateful to be in the forest again with green trees, there wasn't much forest duff to walk on like previous days. The trail remained sand as it had been for the last 20 plus miles.
I arrived into Lava Lake Camp, PCT mile 1980.1 after 20 some miles today. I wanted to get here early so I could go for a dip in the lake. Ha! sign says "Swimmers Itch, don't swim." Now I wish I'd stayed at Matias Lake Near PCT mile 1977. Only a scant 3 miles behind.
When I walked up I asked someone if there were other hikers. He lead me over to a couple with a Subaru and 2 NoBo's. The couple had just wrapped up their signs as they ran out of food and but a few cokes left. Game I was. A farther/daughter sat near by. They were getting g off trail as he feet were messed up with blisters. That's not away to start backpacking. I'm glad he knew right so she will enter the hobby with him later. The NoBo's took off after a few minutes.
I'm set up in the same area, to lazy to return to a campsite closer to the trail. Because I'm so far out, I doubt I'll see anyone else today.
A hot meal waits of turkey tetrazzini and leftover beef jerky. Ah, now a relaxing evening with a few crows and the occasional mosquitoe. It's threatening rain. I'll leave one door on the tent closed just incase.
I'll hike for BLYC in the morning before the heat hits the lava beds that I'm bit worried on, a 13 mile water carry. This length of water carry is nothing to me now except my water source is contaminated with duck poop baddies. At BLYC I'll grab a zero, try to find a ride around the fire, and wash gear like bottles and my spoon.
Hike on. Hike wise.