At about 4:45am I woke to see two headlamps coming off the trail and searching for the spring I was camped near. If I had known who it was (and been dressed) I’d have snuck over in the darkness and surprised them. Probably just appearing on the log next to them when they sat down after filling their bottles. Instead I turned on my light and tried asking them if they needed help. I had to ask quietly so I wouldn’t wake Rumble and they couldn’t hear me so I just laid back and went to sleep.
When I woke again I was alone. Up over the ridge the world was very different. A thick fog was down in the valley so downhill to my left I couldn’t see anything and it seemed as if the PCT was the only thing left in this world. The trees in front of me were a damp green colour but as they rose to the canopy they just became grey on grey. Mushrooms continue to line the trail. They’re huge and wonderful in their oddness. Some the size of dinner plates they often have dirt on top and cracked ground around their stalks as if they burst through fully grown.
After Barlow Pass the trail went steeply up hill and emerged from the trees with a close-up view of Mt Hood. The soft sand and low shrubbery could have been from beach-front land, so strange to see it in the approach to a ski resort. That last push was made more pleasant by the lupins and other purple-tinted flowers. I’m always happy when something smells good and stronger than me.
At the lodge I found loads of hikers. The Noodleheads had done 42 miles yesterday to make it here for breakfast and it was TeaTree and Nafta that woke me this morning.
I ate a lot of food discarded from people’s resupply boxes and I enjoyed the far reaching views back to Mt Jefferson and Sisters. The lodge was apparently used in The Shining, but I wouldn’t have recognised it.
Eventually we got going again. Undulating doesn’t begin to cover this afternoon’s hike. Up and down big ravines, even a considerable river to ford (though we found logs to balance across). Now I’m tired and ready to sleep. We came all this way this evening to reach a shelter and found a notice on the door about mice with hanta-virus, and it smells funny. So we’re all sleeping outside.
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Little Crater Lake to Cascade LocksDistance today: 22.5 miles. Total distance: 2115.5 miles