Date: Thursday, 27 July 2017
Start: The PCT crossing of Hwy 242 at Mackenzie Pass at Mile 1981.2, 5308 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 2000.7, 5338 ft
Daily Miles: 19.5 PCT, plus 0.5 in town
Total PCT Miles: 1460.4
Weather: Warm and sunny
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs & sausages, bagels with cream cheese
Dinner: Rehydrated spaghetti with meat sauce
Aches: Feeling very tired, particularly feet (perhaps from all of the lava walking early in the day)
Highlight: None really
Lowlight: The usual first-day-out-of-town blues with a full pack and leaving the luxuries behind.
Pictures: Click here
Position: Click here.
Map: Click here for Google Map
The morning went pretty much as intended, with me stuffing myself at the motel continental breakfast and then checking out soon after 8:00am and hitch-hiking by 8:20am. There were quite a few cars, but it took nearly 20 minutes before a nice local couple, heading into tbe mountains for their own two-day hike to climb one of the Sisters, stopped and gave me a lift back to the trailhead.
I was hiking by soon after 9:00am, but it was slow with the first couple of miles being uphill through a lava field. The footing was very uneven and hard on the feet, but I just plodded along knowing this was going to be a long day.
Eventually, the lava fields ended and the walking for the rest of the days was easier, though not as scenic. Mostly it was through old burnt out forest, meaning that a lot of the time I was hiking under the warm sun. The trail passed below the rocky spire of Mt Washington, and there were occasional views to other jagged volcanic peaks, but it was a day on which I was short of enthusiasm.
I wanted to do 20 miles, but fell just short when I spotted a rare place to camp at 6:40pm on the long gradual climb into the Mt Jefferson Wilderness. It was nice to stop and set up camp, even more so because there were no mosquitoes.