Day 103 mile 1848.4 – 1872.1 (plus 0.8 for water)
Elevation: ascent 3,335 ft, descent 3,001 ft
First before I begin today’s post I want to thank many of you who sent such positive and supportive messages! Those really help us through our down moments. Both Double Down and I wanted to make sure that our blog talked about the good, bad and the ugly, at times, knowing full well this adventure wasn’t just going to be a walk in the park (no pun intended). Which is why we felt obligated to share our rough patches along with the amazing highs. We are both committed to seeing this adventure to the end. I joked around with Double Down as the pasqueflower got her out of her funk, well my pasqueflower is Crater Lake. After seeing that it recharged me mentally and reminded me very clearly why I am out here. Well enough about that, let’s get to today.
Woah it was cold this morning!! It has been a long time since we have said that. I’m not sure how cold it got last night but it was enough to be under our quilt all night. Then getting out of the tent this morning we had frost rain down upon us from the rain fly. It was really hard to get going and breaking down camp took A LOT longer since our fingers weren’t working. Double Down may need to think about getting that second down jacket back before Washington…HAHA! Good thing we had our coffee, as it helped to warm up our hands as our stomachs.
We got about 20 minutes into our day when all of a sudden we realized we had left one of our water bladders at camp. UGH!! It had clean water which we had grabbed from the cache this morning and somehow forgot to put it in one of our packs. Always feels like one of those reality TV moments when the camera zooms in on something a contestant left behind or missed. So I jogged back to get the water, mainly to try and be quick but also to help warm me up more.
The hike this morning had a nice view looking back towards Crater Lake. Crazy to think that Mt Mazama used to be almost 5,00 feet higher, before its eruption 7,700 years ago, than the ridges around the lake. We also got to see Diamond Lake which was super pretty. That view and with cell service we couldn’t pass up using it as a breakfast spot, which gave Double Down time to work on her post from yesterday.
After breakfast we got our first view of Mt Thielsen, which is one of the tallest peaks in the area. Some hikers choose to take a side trail up to summit it, but needing to be to Bend in a week, we had to pass. We had several different views as the trail navigates around Mt Thielsen.
Not much longer after passing Mt Thielsen we got to our first water source of the day which was almost 9 miles in, Thielsen Creek. The water was ice cold as it is the runoff from the snow still present on Mt Thielsen. We both loaded up on water as the next water source is in 16 miles from here. Today has been super green with great views so we can’t believe we are having to go so far between sources. You would think there would be streams everywhere.
As we continued on we noticed the trail took us out on some ridges which provided views to the north and east. I was really enjoying the views today and hope that continues. Right before lunch we hit the Oregon/Washington High Point (7,573 ft). Both of us were a little confused because we haven’t even hit the Northern Cascades so how could this be the High Point. Guess the peaks in Washington maybe higher but the trail doesn’t go up that high.
We got to lunch around 1:30 and it became a giant yard sale as we tried to dry out gear from this morning. The sleeping bag and tent were still sopping wet. Thank goodness all of it dries quickly in the sun. So we spread things out to dry while we sat to enjoy our lunch. We again had great views east and even got company as Giggles and Best Buy (hiker from France) joined us. Best Buy got his name back in the desert because he’s carrying 9 pounds like electronic equipment. Funny thing is they do not have Best Buy’s in France so he didn’t even know what that was. So fun to meet some new hikers out here. We both have to say that thru hikers are an eclectic group and we love meeting them as the majority are really great and fun to hangout with. After over an hour of eating and drying we packed up and headed up the trail.
The afternoon was fairly mundane as we were mainly in the forest. We did run across a new orange wildflower today (Orange Agoseris, gotta love the Seek app). The forests here are pretty dense, keeping out the sun for the most part. Both Double Down and I have our sunglasses at the ready but find we don’t use them much when walking through these forests. There was a great view of Miller Lake at one point. Wish we could be getting closer to more of these. Taking a swim to clean up sounds so good!!
We arrived at the Six Horse Spring at about 6:15. This spring required a steep 0.4 mile hike to collect from. So I set up the tent and was reading to go when Best Buy showed up. Double Down stayed at camp finishing set up and cooking dinner while Best Buy and I headed down to the spring. It definitely wasn’t the most inviting spring but after 16 miles of nothing, who is going to complain. While we were there collecting water Giggles showed up as well. These two are traveling together and are putting in about 35 miles a day. Which explains why after getting back up to Double Down they packed up and said their goodbyes, since they were still hoping to get in another 10 miles.
After eating dinner and cleaning up we were treated to a great sunset!! Nice way to end the day. We are hoping that being tucked in the trees more will lessen the cold temps and condensation.
Thanks again for reading and all of your support! Link