Day 99 mile 1742.7 – 1773.5 (plus 0.4 back to the trail and water)
Elevation: ascent 4,242 ft, descent 4,027 ft
Both Double Down and I commented on how nice it was to camp at a spot with a picnic table, running water and a shower. It felt like “Glamping” to us with all of those little amenities.
We are finding out that southern Oregon is pretty dry and there are not having a lot of water sources throughout the day. Most are at least 5-8 miles apart and as some of them dry up the water carries are getting even longer. So we decided to hit the trail early to beat some of the heat later in the day, reducing our need for a lot of drinking water. Before heading out I made sure to take advantage of the bathrooms here at Hyatt Lake Campground. While there I found a type of chorus frog which I had seen that night before while taking a shower. Now it was time to get back to the trail.
We followed the 1/3 mile trail we took last night to get back to the PCT. Once on the trail we found ourselves shrouded by trees. We did walk right by Hyatt Lake and Hyatt PrairieLake but only got a slight view of them through the trees. Today we spent mainly in the forest with shade which was nice but after awhile things start to look the same. We did climb out of the tree cover twice to get a view towards eastern Oregon and one of Mt McLaughlin (only 2 views in 31 miles).
The water sources today had us carrying enough water to get us through 8-10 mile stretches, which meant heavier packs. We came across and aqua duct which we were warmed to avoid due to chemicals. Hard to pass up flowing water but we felt we should play it safe.
Being in the forest more today we definitely saw an increase in deer sightings. This one young doe seemed as interested in us as we were of her. We also started to see some new large fungi growing on the trees.
After lunch we came across South Brown Mountain Shelter which would provide us our last water until camp. We found a well which utilized a hand pump there that we used to fill up our water bottles. The cabin can be used for shelter or camping in a pinch but notes say that it has a large rodent population so people should avoid it if possible.
Now that we had water it was time to decide where to camp. We had two choices. One was in five miles while the other would require 10 miles, but would set us up better for Crater Lake and Bend (our next zero). Well we felt like even though it would be a long day of hiking the extra 10 miles would be the best choice. So we loaded up and hit the trail at about 4:00.
What we didn’t anticipate was the lava rock that we would encounter for the last 6 miles. Our legs and feet were super tired already and having to deal with uneven ground was not the best case scenario. The 10 miles went by pretty slowly and not a whole lot of conversation took place as we both had our heads down trying to get the miles in. One thing that helped pick us up a bit towards the end was the fresh white bark raspberries we found. Delicious!!
We got to a creek just past Hwy 140, which leads to Fish Lake Resort where we found a nice tent site just past a bridge at about 7:30. This allowed us to clean up with fresh water before enjoying our dinner. Today had us hiking about 31 miles and our bodies seem to be holding up okay. This will also help make the rest of the week easier and should allow us more down time to take in the sights. Thanks for following along! Link