Day 101: Push For Shelter Cove

July 27, 2017

Total daily miles: 17.6 miles (including 1.5 mile side trail to Shelter Cove)

Total PCT miles: 1497.2

Start: Summit Lake (mile 1888.2)

End: Shelter Cove (mile 1904.1)

Total elevation gain/loss: 2062.3/2823.5 ft

What a day! We certainly packed in a lot between hiking over 17 miles to get to Shelter Cove and trying to fit in our town chores and relaxation.

We woke up to a bit of condensation in our tent, which wasn’t much of a surprise considering how close we were camped to the lake. The lake had a magical-looking mist covering it this morning that was hard to capture.

Sunrise at Summit Lake


We passed a couple of small ponds this morning. I find it amusing that Guthooks labels them as “stagnant ponds,” but I guess that’s what they are. We’d already grabbed water from the lake last night, so at least we didn’t have to deal with the bugs to get water from the ponds.

One of the lovely “stagnant ponds”


This morning’s climb gave us a couple great views and then dumped us into… the rumored snow! Nothing bad though. There was one large snow field that we had to use navigation to cross, but it wasn’t on too much of a hill so it didn’t feel sketchy. After that, we didn’t really need to navigate to make our way through the snow so it was pretty chill and we split up to do our own thing. To my delight, there was a hill that was perfect for a little glissade. There is something so satisfying about a good glissade!

Do you see the glissade track?


Near the end of the snowy section, we passed a lovely pond that was still surrounded by snow. The ice along its shore and sticking out into its waters was a beautiful glacial blue. I was pondering what would happen if one were to slip along the trail and fall into the pond when… I fell on my butt. Luckily, I did not fall into the pond, but I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as I tried to get up.

The trail follows along the pond along the far edge where the snow meets the water. What could go wrong?


The rest of the PCT into Shelter Cove was largely tree covered and downhill. I’m not sure how we thought we might make it in time for lunch given that we had more than 17 miles to go, but we pushed through lunch and kept going. I smacked on some cocoa-covered almonds to stave off hunger, but ended up with an upset stomach. I’m not sure if it was too many almonds, that I was hungry, or what, but I ended up feeling pretty miserable for the last couple of hours of hiking.  


Shelter Cove is actually about a mile-and-a-half off the PCT, so once we got to the trail junction we still had a downhill trail spur to hike, train tracks to cross, and a road walk before we arrived. I tried to hitch the road section, but with no luck as there were few vehicles on the road.  


By the time I arrived at Shelter Cove, all I wanted to do was to sit down in the shade. I was beat. Eventually, I worked up the energy to grab a cold drink and we eventually ordered a pizza. Then it was town chore time! We picked up our resupply box, took 4 minute showers (dang timed showers), and started laundry while hiding in the shade wearing our puffy jackets on top and our rain jackets on bottom so that we could wash the rest of our clothes. It was very stylish… you’ll have to trust me on that. While waiting on our laundry we organized our resupply and chatted more with Pooparazzi and Bubbles (they even brought back ice cream bars for us — so nice!).

You can tell we were on the dryer load because Michael has his shorts back…


By dinner time I was exhausted. I find that these “resort” ( I use that term loosely) stops aren’t particularly restful. When we get a hotel room I can lounge on a bed in a room by myself to load blog posts, check trail updates, or nap. But when we stop at these resorts, I’m constantly surrounded by people and there is no way to really relax. I like the socializing aspect to a certain extent, but after awhile I just want some alone time to get my stuff done and decompress. It was no different here — with the added benefit that the wifi is so slow that my attempt to upload a blog post ended up being a frustrating waste of time. There is no way I’ll get anything to load, so it looks like the blog will fall further behind as we wait for a spot with decent wifi (we virtually never have cell signal on trail).


For dinner today we ended up eating the Mountain House meals that we’d sent ourselves for this section. They are a big treat since we only purchased a few for the whole trail, but they are also a big endeavor since we each get our own. My lasagna meal really hit the spot and Michael enjoyed his Chicken Vindaloo.

In other news, we caved and purchased new bug spray. It’s still from Sawyer, but this time we went for the 99% DEET. We aren’t messing around anymore! No more mozzies for us! I’m hoping this simple switch will help me maintain my sanity through the rest of Oregon. Fingers crossed!

Tonight we’re camped in the hiker area at Shelter Cove. I’d been confused and had thought that there was free camping just outside the park, but I must have confused this location with another one. There was a park service campground just done the road, but it is a fee area. So we ended up back at Shelter Cove after all. It’s a nice enough spot with some privacy.

We hope to be out early in the morning. I’ve learned from last town stops that staying for breakfast just isn’t worth it for me. I can’t eat that much in a single sitting and I end up regretting the lost morning hiking time since that’s what really makes it breaks a hiking day for us. So no town breakfast for us tomorrow, just a nice dose of DEET!

Current ailments:

Elizabeth: heel pain.

Michael: foot pain, mosquito bites.

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