It was hard to get going this morning as we had multiple factors stacked against us; we had to leave a resort, eat our own breakfast in front of the store instead of pancakes because we have so much leftover food, and we are all hungover from the many beers we had yesterday. But we rallied and ended up leaving camp at 8.30, by we I (Quiz) mean PC, Mushy, Amethyst and Queso. Princess Layers/Crystals (PL is a much better name IMHO) and Ollie had a sleep in and cooked breakfast but we have been Resort-ing so much of late.
The walk back to the PCT was over a mile but one full off berries, mainly blueberries, huckleberries and unripe raspberries, so it took us forever as wild berries are just too good to pass up! Amethyst said we should be on the lookout for bears as huckleberries are their favourite and at the end of the day PL told us she had actually seen one!
We hadn’t been walking long through forest when we reached the picturesque Rosary Lakes. Not yet warm enough to swim we collected water to last us through our first climb of the day. Only a few miles from the road the chain of lakes was chockers with day and overnight hikers, this also means toilet paper everywhere. The trail rose steeply after the lakes over the backside of Edge Peak which is covered in ski runs. This came to our advantage as it had started to get really hot and we retreated to Maiden Pean Shelter for lunch. The ski hut was really cool inside, clean and had one of my all time favourite things, chairs! And a table too. It did have 2 creepy red trunks in the sleeping attic which reminded me of the beginning of a horror film. We didn’t open them.
Stepping outside the hut felt like stepping into a sauna. Thankfully being Oregon most of the trail was in shady forest. Or original plan was to walk straight through to Charlton Lake but it was so hot (and we were guzzling our water) that we made a detour to Bobby Lake on the recommendation of another hiker. He was not wrong, it was an excellent spot for swimming and was deep and blue. We all went skinny dipping then lounged about in the shade feeling briefly clean.
The final 7.5 miles to camp were hot hot hot. To get the sweat really rolling the first 4 were up and the air was still. This also meant mosquito swarms when we were in some of the wetter parts of the climb. Due to low elevation and the thick smoke in the air from the Jefferson fire we got no views. We had a brief stop on the top, got passed by PL who was storming into camp on her long home stretch legs and then followed suit as yet another lake and another swim awaited us.
As soon as I got to camp I stripped off and jumped into the lake. Everyone else was already in and it looked so cool and fun. When I got out I realised I was naked in front of PL’sgang who I didn’t really know, and all my clean dry clothes were at the bottom of my pack. Thankfully hikers are pretty chill about nudity. PL lit a fire and we all sat in one huge group (13!) and ate and talked. In one long effort to pack up and get into bed I extracted myself from the fire, said no to another massage train, found a spot to poop that wasn’t disgusting (this is a popular lake), waded out into the lake to get some clean water and discovered that macadamia nuts are so delicious because they are mostly made of fat. They are so tasty though, especially the wasabi flavoured ones.