Date: Monday, 07 August 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 2190.5, 3556 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 2216.8, 3983 ft
Daily Miles: 26.3 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 1676.5
Weather: Very warm, humid and hazy sunshine
Dinner: Spanish rice with salmon
Aches: Blister on back of left heel.
Highlight: None really
Lowlight: Too many mosquitoes and small biting flies at campsite
Pictures: Click here
Just as I was nodding off last night, a trio of hikers arrived in the dark and decided to set up camp right next to me. I didn’t begrudge them doing that, as tent-sites can be hard to find, especially after nightfall, but they could have talked a little less loudly while setting up when it was obvious I, and the other PCT hikers, were already in bed.
Anyway, it didn’t seem to affect the quality of my sleep, and I awoke feeling a lot better than yesterday. I packed up and was hiking by 6:20am on a warm, muggy and hazy day. Once again, my goal was to do as many miles as I could to maximise the time off I would have tomorrow in Trout Lake.
The forest was peaceful and still for the first few hours and for some of the time ran alongside a wall of rocks marking the edge of an old lava flow which added a bit of interest. Later the trail climbed as high as 5000 ft, and there were even a few patches of snow around, which seemed incongruous in the heat and humidity. The views were all marred by the thick smoke haze (I heard on the radio that a fire in Crater Lake National Park, where I passed through a few weeks ago, has now closed many of the trails there …… another lucky break for me), and particularly the view of Mt Adams whose snow-capped peak was just visible up ahead.
While listening to National Public Radio in the morning, I heard an interesting interview with a scientist who is an expert on Bigfoot, the legendary creature which is supposed to inhabit the area I am now passing through. He is a skeptic, but said that after twenty years of research, he still can’t rule out the existence of the beasts.
The trail also passed by some beautiful alpine lakes, which also added to the scenic interest, as well as a few meadows. Generally the going was good and I made reasonable time. When I reached my target campsite for the night, it was, as I suspected, already occupied by a number of PCT hikers, including the six I have been keeping pace with since Cascade Locks. I decided to continue on another mile or so and found another place to camp, where I was subsequently joined by three girl PCT hikers (one of whom had been having a naked wash in a creek when I unexpectedly crossed it about an hour earlier).
I have about 10 miles tomorrow to National Forests Road #23, from where I will hitch to Trout Lake. It is a notoriously difficult hitch, so who knows how how long it will take. Fingers crossed.