The only cloud we have seen all of today was hanging right above/around us when we woke. I slept surprisingly well under the steep verge of the road on a lumpy slope. Maybe it’s the Irish whiskey I decided to pack for nightcaps. Everything was beaded with dew and once again we packed damp sleeping bags and mats into our pack only to yardsale everything at lunch.
We hit the smooth Oregon trail eagerly and happily trudged up some more short steep inclines all completely snow free. We passed our new dinner pals from last night, Monarch and Unicorn, still in there tents. We might have woken them up when Pinecone picked up an old stiff pair of jeans that looked only slightly defrosted from winter right nearby.
We are breakfast and coffee in the first of many meadows we crossed today, each with 3-5 streams converging in the centre. Oregon is still definitely wet, but the patchy snow we arrived at near the summit of Mt Ashland was very easily passable. Near the top of our climb we got an amazing view north of 4 snowy peaked volcanoes, and this view made us determined not to miss out on the rest of the state. We also saw a mother and fawn, cute. Also the wildflowers are out in force!
We continued our walk west to a saddle and then after the long steep climb up the next ridge promptly stopped for lunch…for 2 hours. That’s the problem with lunchtime bowls, they make you so relaxed and sleepy.
After lunch the real fun began, our path traversed the northern side of the ridge which was thick with snowbank ending with steep drop offs. We got our ice axes out and Mushy then PC cut a path across the bank. The second snowbank was easy as we could walk right underneath it and cut back up to the path. The trail also ran through some thick woods with lots of firm snow underneath, but also so near misses with huge postholes hiding amongst logs.
We decided to be picky with our campsite and passed up a few and walked in slushy afternoon snow till we found the most beautiful one of all! We are also situated for a specky sunrise over Mt Shasta. X