8.17.18. 30.7 miles.
I woke up before my alarm today, but not wanting to start getting ready, I sat on my phone until I was ready. It was actually kinda cold this morning! I put my rain jacket & puffy on while getting ready. Definitely didn’t want to leave my quilt. I was hiking at 6, despite my slower start, and hiked with my rain jacket on for around 45 min until I needed to take a potty break. The trail was all downhill this morning, so it was difficult to get warm. I was still chilled hiking without the jacket, but knew I’d get warm eventually, which did happen, as I started hiking slightly uphill.
I had such a strange nostalgia feeling this morning. I think it was the combination of the crisp air, and the smell of the forest: almost like it had rained. It smelled like fresh, moist soil. I was immediately brought back to walking around the UW campus: one of my favorite activities, especially after a rain. It just smelled like the PNW so much and I felt so at home. The forest was so gorgeous this morning too. I love trees! There was also a super weird warm, humid spot amongst the trees this morning and that spot smelled like the minute you walk off the airplane in Hawaii: warm, fresh, almost flowery smelling air. I loved it.
I took a short water filtering & snack break, and then continued downhill to Windigo Pass, a dirt road with a very large water cache, and also the connection point for the Oregon Skyline Trail alternate, which is a more direct path to Shelter Cove, and apparently the “old PCT”. I didn’t really know about it, or have maps to be confident in the route, so I decided to stick to the main PCT, even though the OST had more water sources. I took my lunch here, and was accosted by bees and very aggressive chipmunks for most of my time. Again, a not very enjoyable lunch break. They are so hard to find!
The climb after lunch sucked. It finally got warm, and some of the climb was in the sun, and I had mostly walked downhill today, so it was just not an enjoyable hike up. When I was almost to the top I noticed I had cell service, and I was beat, so I sat down and took a break in the shade. After 30 min, I felt much better, and was able to finish the climb quickly. The views were wonderful!
The rest of the afternoon was a very long descent to Summit Lake, a huge, beautiful lake that has a car camping campground. This lake was so, so pretty, but I needed to do a few more miles today, so I pushed on a few more uphill to a campsite near a large pond. It’s very peaceful here, and I’m the only one here tonight so far. Tomorrow I’ll be hiking into Shelter Cove to pick up my next resupply, and I think I’ll be staying the night there, since I have a decent amount of chores to do: charging, laundry, and shower. Plus, I hear the food is awesome!