Another day in the PCT saddle. Today the walking was straight forward, we woke at 6am on the dirt road at Alex Hole Spring. Often the mornings feel a little cold and dreary especially when there is snow lying on the ground so we walk up the logging track 2 miles and find a sunny patch for breakfast. The PCT is only 100 yards from the road but the road is easier to navigate when everything is snow covered.
We arrive at a switchback in the road where we hop back onto the PCT. The trail then follows a ridge for 7miles or so on the south aspect. When the trail flipped north we came across huge snow banks along the top of the ridge. Skirting around them was very do-able and the day unfolded easily. We were aiming for kangaroo spring camp for a 17 mile day. We pass our first north bound (nobos) hikers who tell us some info on the trail ahead. Apparently between Seiad Valley and Etna is really slow going with lots of snow and some sketchy sections. It’s hard to know what to expect as everyone’s comfort levels are different. I am a little apprehensive about this next section, but definitely want to give it a go!
The trail drops 300m off the spur into Seiad Creek Road. We decide to have lunch here as there is an beautiful pristine spring nearby. We bump into some day hikers who are taking their children out for their first hike. It reminds me of my parents taking me to the Grampians and heading to a secret cave and cowboy camping there. It’s been a rather nostalgic last few days.
After lunch we climb 300m up Kangaroo Mountain. It’s an impressive set of peaks and steep rocky red cliffs. It actually reminds me of aspects of Australia, mainly the red rock and the sparse vegetation. The walk up we pass Echo Lake Junction, where the day hikers were headed. I look over the edge of the saddle to find a large snow drift and the lake is full of ice bergs. I hope it’s not too much for the children!
We push on to Kangaroo Spring but on the way find the beautiful Lily Pad Lake, cradled below the peak of Kangaroo Mountain. We stop a mile short and decide to camp by the still water. It’s so serene and we go swimming and I wash all my clothes. Quiz spotted newts swimming the lake and got excited. The camp was a great idea until dusk and the frogs started up. We know for next time!