Today felt like it went forever, and not in a good way. None of us slept well as runners in the Cascade Crest 100 (a 100 mile run done in 1.5 days) kept coming past the tent all night long. They had bright head torches and always seemed to be chatting. We heard some interesting quotes “I’m going to nuke a red bull” and also all about the runners love lives. After a while I (Quiz) wanted to heckle them from the darkness and tell them to shut it but I knew it would make the next group be quiet. I’m not sure if they knew we were there or not, Adventure Docs tent was practically on the trail, but they didn’t seem to care. I probably wouldn’t either at mile 75.
We arose at 5.30 all rather grumpy. To make tomorrow’s walk into town short we wanted to do a long day so we decided to do 5 miles before breakfast. We immediately started with a 2 miles climb and trail etiquette dictates that you give way to those going uphill, but the runners seemed to be immune to this rule. It took us nearly 3 hours to walk 5 miles as we were constantly stepping off trail to let a runner go past, only about 50% thanked it acknowledged us and it was making me angry. But then 3 runners in a row stood aside for me and were really friendly and my faith was restored. Plus one of them said there was a running station where we were planning to stop who would give us breakfast!
Sure enough when we finally made it to the station they were super friendly and showered us with food. For breakfast I had 4 slices of watermelon, granola, coffee, Doritos and 2 slices of bacon 🙌. Thankyou crazy running people! The vibe at the station was pretty hectic, every time a runner pulled up they were whooped in and treated like royalty, sitting in chair and having things brought to them. Turkey D wondered if we should be more supportive of eachother like this, but it would be a hard level of energy to keep up. After such great offerings from the station and observing how tired all the runners looked I was a lot nicer to the ones I saw,especially as they were the slowest and some looked so tired and grey after running all night long.
The runners soon petered out and after such an eventful morning our trail entertainment had expired and we now had to entertain ourselves. We all struggled with this as the trail was full of short ups and down and was often quite rocky and hard to find a rhythm. We also walked through lots of recently logged areas which are always a bit depressing. We had met a trail crew earlier in the morning who told us the PCTA is buying up lots of the logged land allowing it to regenerate. It’s nice that the future of the trail seems so strong and solid, go PCTA!
After 16 miles we stopped for lunch. Our caffeine high of the morning had warn off and were all feeling pretty flat. We plodded on at what felt like half the speed all feeling sore in our legs. We had 2 climbs after lunch both in logged sunny trail and they were tough. Time slowed down and our sweat flowed. At the top of the second climb the logged area finished a cool breeze blew and we rounded a corner to see the magnificent, if hazy, Mirror Lake! A huge big blue lake with a craggy peaks rising above it on its far banks. We appreciated this Lake so much we immediately stripped off and loudly went swimming, ahh-ing often at how good it felt. One thing we have noticed, when we are tired we grunt and ahh more and seem to be unaware of doing it.
Life after Mirror Lake seemed ok and we finished our final climb and downhill meander into camp in better spirits, although we all agree that today was hard and we feel so tired. Olallie Creek flows out of a beautiful marshy meadow full of cotton flowers and with 2 excellent peaks in the background. After dinner despite our fatigue we wandered about the meadow in the alpenglow ahh-ing uncontrollably.