July 30, 2017
Total daily miles: 25.4 miles
Total PCT miles: 1574.8
Start: Sisters Mirror Lake (mile 1956.2)
End: mile 1981.7
Total elevation gain/loss: 3369.1/4159.8 ft
Today was awesome! Probably one of the most beautiful days that we’ve had on the trail. There were so many magical moments — my day in Three Sisters Wilderness is not one that I’ll soon forget! I couldn’t stop taking pictures, so this will be a photo-heavy post.
The morning mist on Sisters Mirror Lake.
We had a little haze throughout the day, but otherwise it was beautiful!
July 29, 2017
Total daily miles: 25.5 miles
Total PCT miles: 1549.3
Start: Brahma Lake (mile 1930.7)
End: Sisters Mirror Lake (mile 1956.2)
Total elevation gain/loss: 2899/2572.2 ft
The trail this morning was filled with lots of lakes and ponds. Everywhere we looked it seemed like there was water (and bugs). I found the abundance of water to be surprising because most were not indicated on the water report, Guthooks, or my map.
Early morning as we passed by the outlet for Brahma Lake.
So many lakes!
As you may have noticed, we’ve fallen behind on getting blog entries posted. This delay has been due to a combination of factors, including the lack of decent internet connections in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. We’re working on getting the rest of the entries up, but it might take awhile.
We wanted to let you in on some good news though: WE MADE IT TO CANADA!!!
We arrived at the monument on September 3, 2017. For the most part, we beat out the fires in Oregon and Washington that are now blocking large sections of the trail. Our understanding is that Oregon is basically unhikeable right now and fire closures are affecting more and more of the trail in Washington. Our decision to skip the High Sierra now appears to have afforded us the opportunity to hike Oregon and Washington almost uninterrupted. A lucky break.
So, what’s next? We still have 407 miles of trail to hike in the Sierra. After reaching Canada, we hightailed it back to Independence to jump back on trail at Kearsarge Pass — the same spot we exited in early June. Our plan is to continue north until we reach Sierra City — our final piece of this year’s PCT puzzle. With the end in sight, we’re psyched to be heading back into the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. Our fingers are crossed that we won’t run into any further obstacles in the next few weeks. Wish us luck!
We expect that our internet access will be very limited in the next couple of weeks. We’ll try to get posts up when we can, but no guarantees. I’m still blogging and taking notes as I go though, and I can’t wait until our entire story is up for you to read. This has been a truly incredible experience.
July 28, 2017
Total daily miles: 28.1 miles (26.6 PCT miles + 1.5 miles from Shelter Cove)
Total PCT miles: 1523.8
Start: Shelter Cove (mile 1904.1)
End: Brahma Lake (mile 1930.7)
Total elevation gain/loss: 3934.4/3060.7 ft
This morning was our first time trying out the DEET that we purchased yesterday. We had limited size options available, so we ended up with a full size aerosol can. I thought this meant that we’d get a nice spray mist and I wouldn’t have to rub it in as much with my hands (since washing hands out here isn’t always straight forward), but all I got was a concentrated stream of spray that I still had to rub in. That said, the bugs definitely seemed to stay away from me for much longer than usual. I’ll take it!
Sunrise over Odell Lake
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
July 26, 2017
Total daily miles: 25.5 miles
Total PCT miles: 1481.3
Start: mile 1862.8
End: Summit Lake (mile 1888.2)
Total elevation gain/loss: 3286.1/4061.7 ft
I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain pattering on the tent. I checked the tent to make sure that everything was set up for the rain and then went back to sleep. It was still raining when our alarm went off at 5am. Between the rain and our 30-mile day yesterday we opted to sleep in until almost 6:30.
Sleeping in felt awesome. That is, until we woke up and found that there was a huge puddle at the bottom of the tent — right where my pile of hiking clothes was sitting (I use my hiking clothes as cushioning for my feet since my sleeping pad isn’t full length.). My clothes were soaking wet. Everything else was fine, but the thought of putting on cold, wet clothes to hike on an already chilly day was not appealing. To say that this put me in a bad mood to start the day might be an understatement…
A glimpse of a lake between the trees.
July 25, 2017
Total daily miles: 30.0 miles
Total PCT miles: 1455.9
Start: Red Cone Spring (mile 1832.8)
End: mile 1862.8
Total elevation gain/loss: 3280.8/3166.7 ft
It only took us 99 days, but we finally hiked our first 30-mile day! And then we immediately stopped, because there’s no prize for hiking 30.1 miles (not that there’s a prize for hiking 30).
Last night’s storm lasted for a few hours and then the rest of the night was calm. Amazingly, we woke to a completely dry tent, both inside and out!
July 24, 2017
Total daily miles: 19.8 (9.9 PCT + 0.8 from Mazama Village + 4.6 Rim Alternate 4.5 Lightning Spring Trail)
Total PCT miles: 1425
Start: Mazama Village (Crater Lake) (mile 1818.4)
End: Red Cone Spring (mile 1832.8)
Total elevation gain/loss: 2758.5/1657.8 ft
I slept well last night despite my bruised hip, although getting up this morning was still a struggle. The good news is that my foot seems to be healing well and I was able to get my shoe on and walk around without too much pain. We packed up our stuff and then stopped next to the Mazama Village store to fill up our water bottles and enjoy a couple of the homemade English muffins that we received from my friend Angela topped with hazelnut butter.
Seven in the morning is not the ideal time to hitch out of Crater Lake park and back to the PCT, so we walked the mile back along the road before finally joining back up with the PCT. We were immediately assaulted by a swarm of mosquitoes that seemed impervious to our bug spray. I resolved to switch out of my short sleeved shirt to a long sleeved one as soon as we got to the rim (where I could change in peace inside away from the swarming bloodsuckers). Continue reading
July 21, 2017
Total daily miles: 14.8 miles (14.0 PCT + 0.8 to Mazama Village)
Total PCT miles: 1411.5
Start: mile 1804.5
End: Mazama Village (Crater Lake) (mile 1818.4)
Total elevation gain/loss: 1835.3/243.3 ft
Today was a town day! We hit the snooze button a couple of times… even with the allure of town, it was tough to get up! We normally keep our inReach turned off over night and when we turned it on this morning there was a message from Tom waiting for us. He told us to go ahead and sleep in because he wouldn’t be able to make it to Crater Lake until later in the day. Oops! I guess it didn’t really matter though because we needed to get to Crater Lake by lunch anyway because we were almost out of food. We both had a couple bars and that was it… not enough these days.
July 20, 2017
Total daily miles: 25.9 miles (25.4 PCT + 0.5 side trail from camp)
Total PCT miles: 1397.6
Start: Squaw Lake (mile 1779)
End: mile 1804.5
Total elevation gain/loss: 3514.1/2923.9 ft
A while back we were listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and they asked the guests what one sentence, if inserted as the second line of a book, would improve any book. The answer: “And then the murders began.” That pretty much sums up our day. I’m afraid that I graduated to serial killer status today. The number of mosquitoes that I killed was beyond counting. If charged, I’ll claim self-defense. I pretty much did fear for my life… or at least my sanity. In short, the bugs were horrific today.