Today was ace! We did everything perfectly, timing was crucial and we nailed it. A thunder storm roll in at 3 am waking us all up with heaps of really loud thunder and lightening. Thankfully we had been warned the night before by the friendly resort staff and put the fly on our tent. The show lasted so long that I (Quiz) fell back asleep and was woken up a few times. After the last peals there was a few minutes of silence before the rain started, and it continued till 10 in the morning. Luckily for us we had decided the day before to have a half day and not leave the resort till midday. Unluckily for my washing it was sodden after I left it out to dry overnight (crisis averted, there is a dryer at the resort too).
We go to spend a luxurious morning in bed feeling cozy listening to the rain fall of the tent. I finished a book, at least my 10th for the hike and ate some chips, as I said you gotta get the deluxe when you can. Just as the rain finished up we decided to get up and move on over to the cafe for brunch. Our new pal Amethyst was already there chatting up a storm with the locals. We drank copious amounts of coffee, binged off the walls and PC/Turkey D brought some wacky green fishing buoy earring. The cafe had a pet chipmunk and if I ever move here I am getting one as a pet too as I have fallen for then cuteness anew at this resort (they are everywhere)!
Amethyst’s networking and lovely personality scored us a ride to the trailhead with one of the resort staff, Shawnee (thank you sooooo much). I give the resort 5 stars as the lake is pretty, PCT camping is free, the cafe is reasonably priced and the staff are really friendly and don’t treat us like delinquents (cough cough Drakesbad Ranch).
We started hiking at 1pm through open pine forest full off wildflowers including a new one which I named Pom Purps, they are purple pompom shaped. After crossing a creek on a small bridge we began our climb which turned out to be bigger in our heads than in real life which is a nice change. The forest morphed into a small patch of old tall trees and absolutely no undergrowth, it was eerie, you could see for far into the distance and there was no movement.
We must have hiked up that non existent mental hill like maniacs as when we stopped at 3pm for a break we had gone 7 miles! This is a new PB for me, 3.5mph. Having worked so hard we rested even harder, breaking on a ridge in the breeze for 1hr, we had great chats and the breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay. The huge volcano Mt McLoughlin peeked its snowy peak through the trees but we never got the great uninterrupted views of yesterday. The final 5 miles to camp were dominated by mosquitoes, they had been increasing in intensity throughout the day by later in the afternoon seemed to be able to latch on even when we were walking quickly.
But mosquitoes could not ruin this day because camp came equipped with a fire pit and plenty of wood. Medic, a friendly Swiss guy joined us in our mosquito free zone for dinner. Mushy lent us his Deet as we seemed to have lost ours and we comfortably stayed up till 8.30 chatting.