PCT mm 1955.7 – A calm cool morning


When I awoke this morning, the temperature was significantly colder than it has been since the Sierras.  There was a small amount of dew on everything and I did not want to get out of my warm sleeping bag.  But I did get up at six and was on the trail at 6:30 without the extra insoles today.  The day was full of lakes again, and towards the end of the day, I am starting to get within sight of the big ski mountains, so Oregon is getting ready to change again.

The morning stayed brisk well after 11 am.  For the first hour or two, I wished I had my gloves.  I walked a while with my hands under my armpits, and walked much of the time with my thumbs tucked under my fingers.  Believe it or not, that will warm up your hands.  It was so cool, I probably walked thirteen miles to lunch on just over one liter of water.

I found a nice pond with plenty of shade for lunch.  I made ramen noodles and ate a little bit of cheese.  I took my shoes and socks off and trimmed toenails and fingernails.  The feet didn’t look too bad, other than being dirty and the skin tough as nails.  The heels are still sore, but the toes are much better today.

After a long lunch, it was time to get going again.  The afternoon was more lakes.  There was a brief hot stretch, but it was mild in comparison to previous days.  I actually laid down on a sunny rock at one point to dry the back of my shirt off during one climb.  It was such a cool day, the sun actually felt good.

Along one stretch of trail, I finally came upon some travellers on horseback.  I don’t know where they started, but they were only going to Odell lake where I was the night before.  It was a man and woman on horses pulling a mule with all the goods on him.  It was a very brief chat as they sauntered by me after I got about eight feet off the trail.  The mule was almost solid white.  I don’t think I’ve seen a white mule before.  The rest of the day I inspected all the road apples I saw so I could get better at estimating the age of road apples when I see them the next time.

Late in the day, the trail final climbed a bit and popped out of the woods.  After not seeing anything but forest and lakes for the last few days, it was a change to be able to see big mountains again.  Mt Bachelor was to my right and the South Sister to my left.  They both looked pretty big.  I go around South Sister tomorrow, but don’t get any closer to Bachelor.  The lake just to the right of it has a resort on it that Karen and I visited in 2009 and we both remember being shocked at having to pay $3 for a coke.  Now I see prices like that all the time.  It was not worth the one mile side trip just to get something to eat.  Elk lake resort is not on the itinerary this year.

I kept going up the big climb and was surprised to find good signal most of the way up.  I was finally able to look up the number of a friend that used to live in Jacksonville just down the road from where I grew up, but now lives in Bend.  This same person also hiked the AT and PCT in the 80’s and was the one who mentored me before my first hike on the AT.  I was able to get ahold of him and we are planning on having drinks or dinner probably Wednesday evening.  There are two ways to get to Bend from the trail and the one I hit tomorrow will be too late in the day to be able to do anything.  So I will probably hike on to the second highway if I can hit that earlier in the day to be able to hitch into Sisters and/or Bend.  I’m still not sure where I am staying yet, the hotels in Bend are $250 a night.  Sisters is a bit more affordable at $80 a night.

I also heard from Ireland via text.  They are camping about five miles past where I am camped and will be hitting the first pass at 4 PM tomorrow and staying in Bend two nights.  I don’t think I can hit that pass by 4 PM, so I doubt I will ever see them again unless I can hook up with them in Bend.  The next two days will be interesting.

1 Comment

  1. Bet you’ll be at 2,000 miles by Thursday! What an amazing feat!! So proud of you.

Leave a Reply