On the Pacific Crest Trail Again

Brown Mountain Lava Flow
Brown Mountain Lava Flow

We have arrived in Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park after hiking 102 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail from Ashland, OR. It’s been a wonderful hike so far, starting off relatively easily, but the past few days had some snowy surprises.

The first days were lovely hiking along gentle forested trails. We resupplied at the Fish Lake Resort on day four, after an interesting morning hiking through the Brown Mountain Lava Flow. It’s amazing how the trail builders managed to put a trail across the jumbled lava rocks.

From Fish Lake the PCT climbs past the eastern side of Mount McLoughlin to the Sky Lakes Wilderness. We resisted the urge to make the 2,000 foot hike to the summit.

Unfortunately, in the Sky Lakes Wilderness hundred of trees have blown down across the PCT. Most are not hard to step over or around, but it just makes the hiking a little more difficult. We also had a fun little glissade down the northeast side of snowy Devils Peak and a not so fun three or four final miles of snow covered trail just before Highway 62.

Today is a zero day in the Mazama campground as we are organizing the supplies we mailed to ourselves, cleaning up, and eating a couple of restaurant meals.

We are camping tonight next to Marc and Julie, full time RVers of RVLove.com fame, who we briefly met at an RV event earlier this year in Quartzite, AZ. Deb has faithfully followed their blog ever since. They graciously offered to share a campsite after a chance encounter outside of the Mazama camp store. It’s been fun getting to know them and compare notes about RV and hiking life.

We haven’t actually seen Crater Lake yet, that’s about five miles of hiking to the north, which we will do tomorrow.

Restarting the blog and more hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail

Ferns at Big Lagoon California
Ferns at Big Lagoon California

Happy Forth of July!

It’s been awhile since I posted here, but tomorrow we begin hiking across the state of Oregon on the Pacific Crest Trail. We will start near Ashland, OR and plan to hike about 430 miles to Cascade Locks on the Columbia River.

We have spent the past few days scurrying about the Medford area buying hiking food and shipping it to various locations across the state. Oregon has many remote lodges, church camps, and rustic resorts near the trail that accept resupply packages from hikers. Along most of the PCT it’s possible to resupply at one of these locations every 50 or 60 miles and we are taking advantage of almost all of them to lessen the weight of the food we have to carry.

Oregon has a reputation among PCT thru-hikers as being an easy state where they can often hike 30 or 40 miles per day. In large part, that’s because the thru-hikers have hiked 1,700 miles before they arrive here, and they are in fantastic hiking shape. That won’t be us, we are planning a relaxed hike at about half that pace.

We might run into some snow starting around the Crater Lake area, but hopefully it will mostly be melted by the time we arrive there. Our fingers are crossed that the mosquitoes won’t be too bad, but we have our bug nets and repellent ready.

Dale and Melissa (family) have been a huge help here in the Medford area. We really appreciate all their help and assistance as we start this hike.

Day 174

Monument 78

Day 174: September 23rd
Mile 2653.8 to Manning Park, BC

This morning I walked the final six miles to the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Canadian border where I found Deb waiting for me. She had camped at the trail camp about 2/10 mile into Canada.

We celebrated briefly (along with a handful of other hikers who arrived at the same time), took a few photos, and drank a tiny bottle of Champagne that Deb carried in.

Deb and I then hiked eight miles to the Manning Park where we had a late lunch and checked into the lodge.

2,660 miles of continuous footsteps from the Mexican border to the Canadian border are done. The hike has been an amazing journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Day 173

photo16
Tbe Northern Cascades along the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

Mile 2635.9 to Mile 2653.8

Today was my last full day of hiking and I ended up camping just six miles south of the Canadian border.

I encountered a surprising number of hikers returning to Harts Pass (nearly 20) walking southbound back to Harts Pass after reaching the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Hikers sometimes choose not to go into Canada for various reasons, but instead just touch the border and go back south for 30 miles and exit at the first road.

Everyone was in a happy mood as most hikers were hiking fairly easy low mileage days through beautiful country with lovely fall colors. Everyone was congratulating each other as they had just completed the PCT or were about to the next day.

Mileage: 17.9

Day 172

photo15
Along the Pacific Crest Trail

Day 172: September 21st

Mile 2617.6 to Mile 2635.9

Very pretty hiking today.

I arrived at Harts Pass around lunch time, where the staff at the Guard Station was very hiker-friendly. They had ice water for hikers and offered use of the staff trash cans.

I ended up camping with a large group of about 10 hikers camped tonight.

Mileage: 18.3

Day 171

photo14Day 171: September 20th

Mile 2599.6 (Rainy Pass) to Mile 2617.6

We spent last night in Mazama at Ravensong’s Roost. Deb drove me back to Rainy Pass after breakfast at the Mazama store. The store makes a good breakfast and was packed with a mix of old timers and rock climbers.

The hike was very scenic today mostly traversing the sides of high mountain ridges. Excellent weather. A joy to be hiking even though the end is near.

Mileage: 18