From now on if anyone asks me if I, Quiz, have finished a marathon I will answer yes! But leave out mentioning that it took us 13 hours, a 16 mile waterless stretch and 2 swims.
So as you can gather today was long(!) but it was also really good. The highest point in the northern 2 states of the PCT was an excellent sleeping spot, good view and great stars, I slept so well. We got going early and walked a few miles before stopping on the top of a small cliff for breakfast. We melted snow overnight so despite still having 11 miles to water we had enough to make coffee. Phew. We had quickly descended from the open planes of camp into forest which we stayed in most of the day.
The walk to water was done in 1 go after breakfast but upon getting there we discovered it was a long steep haul into the valley to get it. Queso and I were the only ones who needed it enough to make the trek but we brought back extra for Mushy. Six Horse Spring was a true Spring seeping out of the hillside in a bright green mossy manor compared to the rest of the hillside. Amethyst was bitten by something and her shoulder came up in a huge welt, she powered through to lunch without stopping, later she took an antihistamine, antinflammatory and I dressed the bite in aloe Vera and it has started to go down.
The walk to the water cashe at Windigo Pass felt like the longest of the day. I think this was because I only got a 10 min break after collecting water so by the time I made it too the pass I had walked 17miles/27kms with only 45min of break. Despite my feet and legs complaining the walk stuck to the top of the ridge and the view was good, we could see trees for miles, at least a million in every vista! Just like desert watering holes the water cashe had quite a crowd, including pessimist Rambo and his friend Man-splainer, who are a bit hard to tolerate in long doses.
As the PCT has been so dry we decided to walk 1 mile down a dirt road and walk the Oregon Skyline Trail as it goes past 50million beautiful lakes. The trail follows the historical Oregon Trail and you can imagine wagons loving the terrain as it’s so flat! We reached Oldenburg Lake and we all immediately stripped off and went swimming, our first proper on trail swim since leaving Ashland. Also over lunch it really heated up and will stay hot for the next few days so the swim felt amazing. As we were getting out Amethyst notice the lake edge was teeming with leeches, some 10cm long and swimming like eels! We all scanned eachother but are luckily leech free. Amethyst also showed up what huckleberries look like and we spent ages picking the sweet tiny purple berries. I can now identify and have eaten blackberries, raspberries thimbleberries and huckleberries, all wild!
We kept on trucking through dry forest past many more lakes till we made it to Crescent Lake. It’s a drive in campground and has lots of visitors, but this has totally played to our favour as our neighbours on one side gave us beer and on the other side home smoked and caught trout, two huge fillets, and some firewood, we are very lucky. We have a lake side camp spot and as I am typing this the sun set is on full display across the lake. We also went for another leech free swim and I feel clean inside my sleeping bag, this is luxury!