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

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Day 100: Down From My High

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.

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Day 99: Our First 30!

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!

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Day 95: Out of Food and Water . . .

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.

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Day 94: And Then The Murders Began.

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.

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Day 89: A Magical Oregon Welcome

July 15, 2017

Total daily miles: 25.0 miles

Total PCT miles: 1298.8

Start: Alex Hole Spring (mile 1680.8)

End: mile 1705.7

Total elevation gain/loss: 4601.4/4524.6 ft

We’ve finally made it out of California and are officially in our second state of the PCT! Took long enough… Oregon welcomed us with open arms and while I may not yet have found the magical easy miles that I was looking forward to, we did find some magic.

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Day 86: Snow Bowl Danger or Hype?

July 12, 2017

Total daily miles: 26.5 miles

Total PCT miles: 1232.3

Start: mile 1612.6

End: mile 1639.2

Total elevation gain/loss: 4131.6/7419.3 ft

Today started out with a stretch of snow that we’d been hearing hype about for weeks. We’d heard that there was a large “bowl” that we had to traverse, although people had different opinions as to how difficult it would be. Would it live up to the hype? Would we be glad to have kept our microspikes and whippets since Chester? Not really…

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Day 81: NorCal Deja Vu

July 7, 2017

Total daily miles: 26.1 miles

Total PCT miles: 1140.2 miles

Start: Lake Helen (0.6 miles off PCT mile 1521.0)

End: mile 1547.1

Total elevation gain/loss: 2957.7/2949.1 ft

The morning colors on Lake Helen were gorgeous this morning. Such a beautiful sight to wake up to!

The trail this morning was once again exposed with sweeping views of the surrounding area. The trail stayed close to the ridge line and out of the forests that we’d become accustomed to on the trail between Burney and Castella. I started to regret my decision to switch to a t-shirt instead of my long sleeved shirt. Despite my efforts to apply sunscreen yesterday and this morning, I was worrying that my arms were getting pink too quickly. Continue reading

Day 72: Snow-Free Lassen

June 28, 2017

Total daily miles: 23.4 miles

Total PCT miles: 964.3 miles

Start: Warner Valley Campground (mile 1347.8)

End: mile 1371.2

Total elevation gain/loss: 1945.5/3051.2 ft

There’s something magical about waking up in the morning to find myself in a campground. There’s a picnic table to set my bag down on when I crawl out of my tent (picnic tables are the best!), and most importantly, there’s a toilet nearby. No morning cat hole digging for me!! This morning, we had the added suspense of opening the bear locker to see if our food bag was filled with holes from the local rodents. Did we make the correct choice last night? Yes we did, our bags were fully intact!

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