Day 107 mile 1943.4 – 1966.5
Elevation: ascent 3,237 ft, descent 2,048 ft
We woke this morning to cool mist floating atop of Horseshoe Lake. Turtle and Gnome said they were going to try and get up at 6:00 with us but, we didn’t even see any movement from their tent as we left camp at 7:00. This morning was cool and seemed to be helping to hold the mosquitoes at bay a little. Bonus for this morning was that the trail was lined with huckleberry bushes. It was like natures little breakfast snacks. We passed by some nice meadows on our way this morning as we descended toward Elk Lake Resort.
We reached Dumbbell Lake at 8:30 and were enjoying the view while having breakfast (shakes and Pop-Tarts). We also took this time to finish up some blogging as neither of us were able to finish last night. We had too much fun chatting with Turtle and Gnome over dinner. We are excited about today as we should be getting better views of the Sisters.
When we reached the turn off for Elk Lake Resort (hikers use this for a resupply or way to get to Bend), we got our first glimpse of Mt Bachelor and Broken Top Mountain. Not much further on the trail, we turned a corner and saw South Sister. Wow was this beautiful to see!! As we rose up out of the valley closer towards Lower Sister we were passed by Beard Snacks, Naps and Boho, who we haven’t seen since Ashland. They had taken some time off in Bend and had just gotten back on trail.
We got to Sisters Mirror Lake at about 1:15, which was perfect for lunch. We enjoyed a nice shaded spot while relaxing and snacking (jerky, corn nuts, tortillas, bars and nuts). We even had service which allowed us to talk to Maddie at home, which is always a treat. The day had been going great and our bodies were feeling the best that they have in a while.
We only had about 8 miles to go to camp which meant we should be there early tonight. We ascended a bit leaving lunch, getting closer to South and Middle Sister. There was even this long meadow leading us straight toward them which made for spectacular views. As we climbed up the valley the rocky meadows gave way to more lush green meadows filled with wildflowers. We even crossed 4 streams this afternoon. We haven’t really seen many streams these past few weeks, so we were excited to have those back today. There were still some burn sections that we found ourselves hiking through but they were much smaller than what we had been experiencing recently.
As we neared camp we crossed Mesa Creek which was by far the largest creek we have seen in a long time. There was a lot of Lupine growing along its banks. However, it didn’t compare to the field of Lupine we encountered a little further up trail. Holy cow this field was HUGE and smelled divine!!
The camp site we had in mind was right under South Sister next to a pond. We were talking just before we go there about how it would be nice to have the place to ourselves. Well about 30 other backpackers out for short trips had the same idea as we did. I felt like we had just walked up to a drive-in campground. Thank goodness there are quite a few spots in here to pitch a tent and we were able to find one that gave us a fair amount of space.
While gathering water for drinking and dinner I met two girls out hiking with their dog. The dog came trotting over to me and I figured it was friendly, so I put out my hand for it to smell and talked to it calmly. It seemed fairly nice, until I went to walk by towards the water. This is when the dog lunged and started barking at me. The owner then tells me it’s okay because the dog doesn’t have teeth. WHAT?!! You still need to tell people that your dog might act aggressively. Especially out here in the woods and when the dog isn’t on a leash. Well needless to say I didn’t stick around to try and become better friends with this canine.
After grabbing water I got back to camp and Double Down and I enjoyed dinner while marveling at the size and beauty of South Sister. We even got some nice alpine glow on the mountain as the sunset. Today was such a great day on the trail and we both enjoyed the views, changes in scenery and of course the water sources we had today. Sisters Wilderness is definitely living up to our expectations!
Thanks for following along on this amazing adventure we are on! Link