170728 – Three Fingered Jack

Day:  096
Date:  Friday, 28 July 2017
Start:  Camped by the trail at Mile 2000.7, 5338 ft
Finish:  Camped beside Milk Creek at Mile 2025.1, 4338 ft
Daily Miles:  24.4 PCT
Total PCT Miles:  1484.8
Weather:  Warm and sunny
Accommodation:  Tent
     Breakfast:  Pop tarts
     Lunch:  Gorp
     Dinner:  Rehydrated beef stroganoff with noodles
Aches:  Nothing new
Highlight:  The two small pristine alpine lakes the trail passed today, Rockpile Lake and Shale Lake, were picture perfect.  It was very tempting to have a swim and then sunbake/snooze beside them, but I have to keep moving.
Lowlight:  Most of the day was just about getting the miles done, and I spent a lot of time thinking how nice it will be to finish.
Pictures:  Click here

Position:  Click here.
Map:  Click here for Google Map

I was hiking by soon after 6:30am without much enthusiasm with the goal of covering about 25 miles for the day.  My routine now is to walk for two hours at a time, which roughly equates to five miles, then have a 30 minute break.  Therefore, five two-hour stints should get me where I want to be.  Of course, a lot depends on how hilly and rough the trail is, and today turned out to have plenty of hills and quite a lot of rough trail.

It started by climbing to cross the lower slopes of the jagged mountain known as Three Fingered Jack, and then for the rest of the day followed a meandering ridge north and west.  Much of the country was burnt forest,  and that’s where the trail tends to be roughest because the topsoil has thinned, the trail has eroded and rocks are exposed.

But it wasn’t all like that, and there were some beautiful forest sections, pristine alpine lakes, and even a high altitude pumice plain, together with good views for most of the day, especially of the looming giant of Mt Jefferson.

I eventually reached my goal of Milk Creek (fed by Milk Glacier) around 7:00pm, tired and very pleased to stop.  My tent is perched on a ledge over the roaring creek, so I hope there’s no significant erosion overnight.

A long day today means I only(!) have about 20 miles to reach Olallie Resort store tomorrow where I will resupply.  It’s supposed to be very rustic with no electric power and some basic cabins, but I’m guessing the cabins will be full on a Saturday night in the middle of summer, so I will probably end up camping nearby.

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