Day 106: mile 1917.6 – mile 1943.4

Elevation gain: 2,555 ft

Elevation loss: 3,111

When I say “Lotsa Lakes”, I mean A LOT of lakes! There were still a bunch of ponds too, so between lakes and ponds I would say we saw at least 20 bodies of water! The Oregon wilderness definitely held our attention today, that’s for sure.

It was so nice waking up next to a lake. Even though we are constantly doing stuff to get ready after the alarm went off at 5:30, I loved knowing it was there. Glancing over at it in between stuffing my pack, staring at it while brushing my teeth and stretching. It was pretty breezy this morning so there was no reflection on the water, but it was lovely to keep the mosquitos away.

We stopped to have breakfast at our first lake, Charleton Lake, after about 7 miles. It was so quiet and we were the only ones there until a gal and her 2 sons walked up. She said the whole campground had been packed with people just yesterday for the weekend…I’m so glad we missed that!

Then we walked through a burn section that was interesting because the new trees are really trying to take over. In a decade, it might be hard to tell there ever was a burn here, which is great!

Before lunch we started seeing a plethora of lakes and ponds. This is also where we saw Turtle & gnome again as well as met 2 brothers from Boston, Dundee & Riddler. We might see them in camp tonight since it sounds like we all have the same goal today in mind.

We stopped for lunch after 13 miles at another lake, Irish Lake. This is where we met another SOBO thru hiker, Noble. We chatted about what she will see next going south as well as what we will see going north. This info is always super helpful! It was a little funny to hear her talk about how she got her “hiking legs” super fast since they started with the Cascade Range after the terminus. I’m thinking she probably assumes we started with a “flat” desert which was the furthest thing from reality!

Trying to collect water without any floaters was a little difficult at this lake!

After lunch, it was literally Lake Central! One after another…a lot of them looking very similar, but I swear they are different. 😜

When we were about 5 miles from our campsite, a scouting plane started circling us overhead. This is a very uneasy feeling because if a fire broke out while we were deep in the wilderness, how would we find out about it? Who would alert us and how would we get out safely? These are all good questions that we don’t have answers for. Thank goodness we are able to use our Inreach system to get in touch with Link’s mom so she can check the forestry website for any fires near us. She was able to get back to us to let us know there was a fire northwest of us, but not anywhere too nearby. But the scouting plane kept circling our area for about 15 minutes which was definitely worrisome!

We did see a new wildflower today and a new super old and cool PCT sign:

Pearly Everlasting

Besides stopping to pick a BUNCH of Huckleberries today, we also found out about Grouse Whortleberries which we had not tried before. They are sooo tiny that they really aren’t worth the trouble to collect, but they are tasty! They start out bright red, but then turn a dark purple when they’re really ripe and sweet (just like the Huckleberries).

Try not to let the dirty hand distract you…😜

It took some serious restraint for me to walk by all the ripe berries along the trail as we walked today! But then, as luck would have it, our campsite had a ton of Huckleberry bushes! We arrived at Horseshoe Lake at 6:20 and immediately got in the lake to wash up which was lovely. About 30 minutes later, Turtle & Gnome showed up and camped with us. It was really fun getting to know them better…they have a daughter named Maddie too!

Fun and entertaining day today for sure. Can’t wait to see what the rest of Oregon shows us…only about 10 days left and then it’s Washington already! Thanks for joining us on this journey, guys! Double Down