Friday, August 23, 2019

WA/OR PCT part 6 (I think)

Fri 7/19 

Heavy dew, so I pack up tent wet two days in a row.  Camp at Sisters Mirror Lake was nice but buggy--lots of mosquitoes.  Hiked through sub-alpine patches of forest:  Alpine Fir and sparse parks (alpine Lapine, Lomatium, sedges) and in the distance--meadows.  One hiker called today "Diverse," and it was.

Entered an "Obsidian Limited Entry"--no camping without special permit.  I have been with soil scientists or geologists.  There would be "Whoa! Obsidian!" There is so much obsidian in this area, it is ridiculous. Then into lava fields.  In places the trail was very steep and gnarly from all the loose rock.  Around a corner to the Minnie Scott Spring--ice cold water bubbling from the ground.  Wonderful! I loaded up on spring water and passed a couple of lakes. Who wants lake water when they can have spring water? The last 1.2 miles to McKenzie Pass a lava field.  Talk about an ankle turner.

Sisters Mirror Lake PCT mile 1959 to McKenzie Pass PCT mile 1984 = 25 miles.  I am really stove up. My knees ache.  I am very clumsy trying to walk.

At McKenzie Pass--2 cutie oranges, a banana, an apple, 2 cans of sparkling water from those who stopped at McKenzie Pass outhouse tonight.  I will bivvy on north side of outhouse--on a little strip of concrete.  There is no way I could hike three more miles north to the next campsite

Wonderful day! One bummer--I have shin splints in my left leg.  Never had shin splints before.

The bivvy behind the outhouse was not the best.  High winds plus it took quite a while to get settled.  Limited sleep.

Sat. 7/20

Most of the first two and a half of hiking was lava fields--gnarly ankle-turning rock.  SLOW going at best.  I thought it would never end.

I hiked the last few miles to Big Lake Youth Camp with a mom and her two sons.  They are hiking Oregon and have been on trail for four weeks.  Shower, rinsed out socks and shirt.

Big Lake Youth Camp was closed.  Saturday is their day of worship.  They left the hikers' hut open and resupply box was there.  Thanks, Becky!

McKenzie Pass PCT mile 1984 to Big Lake Youth Camp PCT mile 2004 + two miles to and from Big Lake = 22 miles.  Highly disappointing

Sun 7/22

The hike from Big Lake Youth Camp was hot and dry.  Yesterday I left Three Sisters Wilderness and today I entered the Jefferson Wilderness.

I'm north of the lava fields.  But whoever says Oregon PCT is flat can do what I did today:  PCT mile 2004 to PCT mile 2029.5 = 25.5 miles.  This section of trail was gnarly, rocky, and slow going.  Good news! I did 25+ miles.  Bad news: I had nothing left in the tank.

Cascade Locks post office is closed on Saturday and Sunday.  If I can do 25 miles, I can probably make it in time on Friday.  If I miss 5:00 pm Friday I will have to get my resupply box on Monday.  Food I can substitute, but the box at Cascade Locks is especially important as I am getting new shoes.

Phone App Gives Wrong Information

I'm hiking when the trail just doesn't look like the PCT.  No problem, turn on phone.  The HalfMile App says I am 0.16 mile off the PCT.  I back-track and the distance goes down to 90 feet, but then gets farther off.  The phone is responsible for a BONUS 0.33 miles.

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