July 25: Big Lake Youth Camp to cliff above Wasco Lake (PCT mile 1995.1 to 2010.9)

I got up early to get coffee brewing at the PCT hiker hut and finish the “in town” tasks , such as recharging electronics, back-flushing my water filter, and catching up on my blog posts. I accomplished all of them!

The other hikers dribbled in ones and twos. We all headed over to the mess hall for breakfast (cinnamon toast and veggie sausages). On the way over we found about 50 of those large moths on the side of a cabin. It maybe mating season.

I checked the spare equipment box and scored something I may need: mosquito net gloves!

I was tempted to stay another day (take a zero), but felt a stronger need to get back on the trail. So goodbye Big Lake Youth Camp and thank you for all the great things you do for PCTers!

Today’s hike is up 1,800 feet up and around the peak named Three Fingered Jack. Here it is from the front

And here he is from the back

Along the way I passed PCT mile 2,000 ! Woo ho!

I did not see many new flowers today, but I did find some tasty berries. I thought these were blueberries, but an Oregonian assures me they are a type of huckleberry

They tasted like blueberry to me!

I also found some tiny strawberries, although this is not a great shot

And then there was this berry that I did not try:

I also noticed that many of the Manzanita leaves have red lumps on them: probably due to a wasp that laid an egg inside the leaf- there’s probably a pupae inside.

The hike was mostly through more burn area

And finally I reached a great campsite:

Thanks for reading!

July 24: Campsite near lava field to Big Lake Youth Camp (PCT mile 1982.4 to 1995.1)

I woke up to a very quiet and calm morning. I got up extra early so that I can make the four mile, dry, uphill lava crossing before it gets hot.

I got on the trail and was immediately accosted by another uncontrolled dog. Ugh.

I was alone on the lava crossing and early morning was a great time to go

It was slow going for me – the lava is hard on the feet.

I then descended a burn area into a meadow! I carried a bunch of extra water that I did not need (as usual).

I am headed to the Big Lake Youth Camp, a Christian summer camp for kids, that is super friendly to PCT hiker. By super friendly I mean they give us our own big A-Frame building with bathrooms, showers, kitchen, laundry and resupply! Oh, and free breakfast, lunch and dinner! Amazing!

So many new and old flowers too!

I got all caught up on my blogs! Hooray! After being well pampered, I camped in the PCT campsite near the lake.

Another great night, and I have a real breakfast awaiting me in the morning!

Thanks for reading!

July 23: Mesa Creek to campsite near lava field (PCT mile 1962.9 to 1982.4)

Very few mosquitoes! Didn’t even need to put on my head net!

The goal today is camp as close to a large lava field that I will then cross tomorrow.

I was greeted by a woodpecker this morning. I actually think he’s trying to scare me off. I could net see him, but I could hear him.

This is in another burn area where the fire sculpted some of the trees. There were some interesting fungus growing on the trees.

It’s nice to have views again!

I entered the Obsidian Restricted Area, a wonderful place that is absolutely filled with beautiful obsidian rocks, some quite large

There’s even a great waterfall emerging from the cracked obsidian

I saw some new flowers today

I crossed a small lava field where some trees are able to gain a foothold

I was surprised to find a half- frozen pond

I hiked 3/4s of the way around a cinder come and saw three different biomes: dry, snowy and green

I then descended to the base of the large lava files I will cross tomorrow.

I camped in a burn area and tried to get as far away from the trees as I could. My camp was overrun by five golden retrievers that wanted to jump on me and get into my tent and food. I had to shoo them off until their owner arrived and tried to control them.

As I lay in my tent at sunset I spotted a few bats flying around the lava wall next to my campsite. It was a windy night but did not hear any branches or trees fall. I slept great.

Thanks for reading!

July 22: Mac Lake to Mesa Creek (PCT mile 1942.4 to 1962.9)

I woke early and hit the trail. I have another 1,400′ hill to climb and descend today. The green tunnel seems to be dissipating – I’m seeing a lot more meadows and open areas. Yay!

I was delighted to find that once I descended he hill there were minimal mosquitoes! Yay! It was wonderful to hike in short sleeves!

There are still many flowers in this area

I stooped and swam in Sisters Mirror Lake, and it felt great! I’m definitely going to swim as often as I can.

I arrived at Mesa Creek, in a huge meadow. It was so pretty, I decided to camp here.

I filled up my water bottles in the local stream and was greeted by this guy

It was a great campsite and I slept well.

Thanks for reading!

July 21: Charleton Lake to Mac Lake (PCT mile 1925.1 to 1942.4)

My hiking buddies are not early risers, but since I hike slower than them, I decided to head out early.

Today’s hike brings me into the Sisters Wilderness, a very popular hiking area.

There are lots of ponds

One was big enough to swim in, but I had company: a garter Snake

I arrived at our campsite first, so didn’t hike much with my new buddies. The mosquitoes were still bad, so we went to our separate tents.

Tomorrow they will visit the town of Elk, but I will be skipping it, so our short-lived hiking companionship will end.

Thanks for reading!

July 20: Shelter Cove on Odell Lake to Charleton Lake (PCT mile 1806.2 to 1925.1)

I’m not sure how I forgot to mention it, but there are virtually no mosquitoes in Shelter Cove. I think the RV friendly business here might be doing something to keep the mosquito population down. So nice to wear short sleeves and no big net!

I met an Oregonian couple, both USPS mail delivery people, who are hiking Oregon this year. We seem to get along and so plan to hike together today.

It seems I lost one of my winter gloves (used as mosquito protection) on my way into Shelter Cove yesterday. A hiker spotted it about 1/3 mile back on the trail. I will be needing that glove, so I’ll be headed south and try to catch up with my new hiking buddies.

I found my glove, but hiked alone all day– it seems that daily delivering mail on a nine mile route can make you a fast hiker. Faster than me, anyways.

I saw some nice flowers

And a cool fungus

I also saw my first lizard

There are plenty of mosquitoes again, and still lots of green tunnel, but I finally arrived at Charleston Lake about an hour after my new friends.

I went for a swim and it felt great!

Nice campsite!

Nearby, there was a large group who arrived by car and had quite a cap setup. They and their dogs were quite noisy for some time, but luckily I brought earplugs. I fell asleep easily and well after dark found it all quiet again.

Thanks for reading!

July 19: Summit Lake to Shelter Cove on Odell Lake (PCT mile 1890.1 to 1806.2)

Today will be a hike up through the Diamond Peak area and then down to Shelter Cove, where I pick up my resupply, get a shower, do laundry and have a beer and real food.

I woke up to fog on the lake:

The Diamond Peak area is the second most beautiful area so far (second only to Crater Lake).

I spotted a piliated woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in this area, but he bolted before I could snap a photo.

Not pretty flowers

I arrived at Shelter Cove by noon and had a great shower, washed clothes, recharged my electronics and had good food and beer.

Life is good!

Thanks for reading!