Day 110: mile 2001 – mile 2015.1

Elevation gain: 2,818 ft

Elevation loss: 1,469 ft

Well, today was another bitter sweet day…saying goodbye to Maddie and our fun zeros in Bend. We grabbed breakfast from the hotel and walked down to the River to enjoy our last morning together. Then we were on the road by 10:45, and at the trailhead by 11:45. It was great being able to have Maddie drop us off before she headed to the airport to return the car and then fly home.

It was supposed to be close to 100 degrees again today in Bend, so starting to walk at noon was definitely not an ideal time. At least there were some clouds to shield us from the blazing sun a bit, but there was no wind for the first few miles. MAN, was it hot! It was stifling and, to make matters worse, we were walking uphill, in a burn section, and in deep sand. We just needed to keep climbing in order to get to the higher elevations for cooler temps and a breeze.

We did get some pretty cool views as we climbed, and could see that the clouds were really getting pretty dark and ominous!

Then the thunder started to roll with a few rain drops. We decided to put our pack covers on since we figured the weather would get worse before it got better. We were right…the rain really started to come down which did cool things off quite nicely. It definitely wasn’t cool enough to put our rain jackets on, though, so we just let ourselves get wet which felt nice and refreshing.

Eastern Patch-nosed garter snake

About 10 miles in, we saw that someone had left some bags of trail mix on the PCT junction sign. Trail Magic! But since we had just resupplied, we really couldn’t imagine jamming any more food in our bags so, we left it for the next hikers.

With the late start, our plan was to stop at a large pond/lake after only 14 miles. It was 6:00 when we got there which was perfect. We saw SweetRoll & Stop sign (from the campground before Crater Lake), as well as 2 new hikers there: Terminator & Dallas. Poor SweetRoll & Stop sign had just broken their tent pole and were trying to figure out a way to fix it so they didn’t have to cowboy camp with possibly more rain in the forecast. Since we don’t have tent poles, we use only our trekking poles, we weren’t able to help them with any extra pieces, darn it! There was some light rain when we first got to camp, but then it started to clear up and the sky was gorgeous.

We were able to wash up in the lake and that’s when Link spotted some super cool salamanders. First time we have ever seen those!

We sat by the lake to have dinner and chatted about the day. We have come to the conclusion that 2 zeros is too long. It starts to feel WAY too comfortable: the ease of running water, showering, a flushing toilet, air conditioning, chairs, toilet paper, a super soft bed, food whenever we want…you get the idea. So we decided only neros or one zero in towns is a better fit for us. Enough time to wash our clothes and bodies as well as eat some good meals, but not really enough time to get overly comfortable. We are thinking we will probably only need 2-3 more zeros anyway…WE ARE THAT CLOSE, PEOPLE!! Hopefully this will keep us in the right hiking frame of mind, because our minds and bodies are definitely trying to tell us that they are tired. We are choosing NOT to listen to them for the moment because Canada is calling, and we must go. 😁 Thanks for all your support and encouraging words, guys! You are all such a great help to us always! DoubleDown