Day 123: Lightning Spring to mile 1861.8
8.16.18. 22.6 PCT miles. 6.9 Alt. miles.
Today was a long day! I woke up and got ready at 4:30 and was hiking by 5:15. I had 0.8 miles to walk from the spring back to the rim trail to pick up from where I got off yesterday. The rest of the steep parts weren’t too bad and I probably could have hiked more yesterday, but I’m happy with my decision. Mainly bc I got to see a much less smoky Crater Lake at sunrise! It was gorgeous.
The rest of the alpine meadows in the National Park on the rim trail were so pretty too! After finishing up the last 2.5 miles actually with a lake view, it was back to the forest to rejoin the PCT. I ran into tons of southbounders who confirmed the water cache was stocked, so I dumped a ton of water I’d been carrying. My back/ hips were hurting with all of the water weight and with essentially having a full resupply. Felt like the desert again!
I ran into Jam and her husband and friend, who I met back in Seiad Valley, and hiked with Jam for a bit before getting to the highway. When I got there, a man was doing trail magic! It was very unexpected and I grabbed an orange soda before heading back down the trail to the water cache. I was able to get enough to get me to the next creek, 8.5 miles away. I wanted to eat lunch at the cache but the bees were absolutely insane and were swarming everywhere. I walked a little ways down the trail to eat lunch in more peace, though the flies and ants didn’t let me rest too much.
So I packed up and started up the long climb to the creek. It was mostly forest until awesome views of Mt. Thielsen came into view! Such a cool mountain. I filled up water at the creek. There’s another super dry stretch and I’m carrying enough to take me to the cache at Windigo Pass, 22 miles from the creek. The afternoon was more uphill, but more gradual than earlier. I hit the Oregon/ Washington high point, which was a little underwhelming compared to Forester Pass. I had considered hiking further, but the ridge where I’m camped had awesome views, and cell service, so I couldn’t ask for more! I’m going to sleep in a little tomorrow, probably until 5, my more “normal” wake up time, unless I’m ready to go before then.