Considering our legs are feeling it as we’re just out of 5 days off, today we crushed it! Thanks Oregon for cruisey trails. We also got chaffed to bits, and not just me (Quiz) alone, although we all got it in our own unique ways. That’s because we spent most of the day, from 9am on swimming in our own sweat, it was dripping down our legs and pooling on our backs to the point where I checked my water bottle wasn’t leaking the bottom of my pack was so wet!
Like creatures of habit we walked 2 miles before settling in to drink coffee and eat breakfast. The Oregon forest has dried out considerably since we were last here 5 weeks ago and there are literally cracks in the trail. We stopped at our last water for 13 miles as the next 2 streams are now just puddles according to Guthooks, and filled up from a pristine looking piped Spring that flowed into a very dirty and algae filled lake. Coffee tasted delicious!
We hiked on and completed a huge U shape around the southern end of the valley Ashland sits in. We got excellent views of the town as well as Mt Ashland and Pilot Rock from yesterday. The trail was nicely undulating along the top of a ridge in and out of pine forest and grassy Meadows. We can hike fast in such nice terrain and travelled steadily at 3mph. Unlike NoCal, there seem to be less hikers up here and we didn’t see many people except a few day hikers all morning.
We stopped at the Little Hyatt Reservior Overflow for lunch and it was really flowing. We all commented about missing the sound of flowing water, as we were sitting by a sizeable creek fed by a waterfall it was really loud. 2 section hikers I had met earlier arrived with there dog Charlie who entertained us while we were packing up with his water antics/appreciation.
The afternoon was hot and our feet really started to hurt. We saw a few deer but apart from that it seemed even the birds knew to stay in the shade and conserve energy. 4 miles later found us all sprawled by the side of the trail in dense shade, shoes off and feet raised in the air. Moving started to be accompanied with groans, sometimes it just makes it easier if you can vocalise your pain a bit.
We hobbled the last 5 miles into camp with a bunch of new hiking pals, Amathest, Strawberry Pop and 2 others. It was worth it as the campground has free hot showers and is by a lake. Washing off all that sweat was really nice. It also had picnic tables so we all chatted late while we cooked dinner and watched an excellent sunset. There are clouds in the sky for the first time in many days and rain and thunder pushed us into our tents and bed. Once again everything feels a bit out of whack after flipping yet again, but already we are meeting new excellent people and walking the miles. Cheers to you PCT, love you xx