From the OST junction at mile 1884 to Shelter Cove via the OST
The mosquitoes were just as present in the morning as they had been last night. They kept great company over breakfast. They buzzed so much Portrait and I couldn't hardly get a word in.
The first half mile of the Oregon Skyline Trail was on the forest service road. We followed that into the woods. The trail ascended gently, although with my headnet on I still got pretty hot. Every time I thought I could take the headnet off the mosquitoes would remind me they were there and hungry.
Time and miles seemed to pass with a nice ratio. At first snack it was clear we were going to make lunch at the campground on Crescent Lake without worries. It was still to early to know if we would make it to Shelter Cove before the store closed.
For being named the Skyline Trail there wasn't much of the skyline visible. They could have named it the Marshy Lake Trail, but that doesn't sound very epic. The walking was easy though-it was easier than anything I'd done on the PCT lately.
The lake was large and lovely with Diamond Peak standing over the shimmering waters. It was a little cold, but it felt great. A shower wasn't on my Shelter Cove list so Crescent Lake was going to have to fill in. I actually didn't even feel that dirty-I still feel like I haven't hiked recently.
We had to share the lake with a lot of summer rivalries but sadly we couldn't manage to yogie any lunch. I always feel a little like a failure when I can't even get a soda from some one's cooler. The water from the faucet was cold and they had large dumpsters for our small amounts of hiker trash. All in all a wonderful stop.
It was too long of a stop, really. By the time we left we had 4.5 hours to hike 11.5 miles. We had to do 2.2 mphs with almost no breaks to make the store by 7 p.m. it was possible, but I wasn't going to like it. We did the pace we needed for over an hour. Then Portrait called the store. They closed at six, not seven p.m. that was a lot less possible. We slowed to a snail's pass.
It didn't matter to me if I got my box in the evening or following morning. I had food left in my foodbag. Now we just didn't need to rush. It made the afternoon much more enjoyable.
After awhile the trail started to follow a large rushing creek. It was all fast water and white rapids. It sounded wonderful after the last few dry areas. The trail kept descending with the creek. I saw structures through the trees and firmly told myself I wasn't there yet-no need getting disappointed. Turns out I was right and it was just tanks at the railroad tracks. But after crossing the tracks and walking down a drive we were there.
The store had closed an hour and a half ago, but there was always the hiker box and other hikers around towns. The owner of the resort exited the store shortly after we got there. When I asked if there was anyway two newcomers could get their boxes he lead me to the shed where they were kept.
I was supposed to be at Shelter Cove on my birthday and my box was brimming with birthday goodies. We took over a whole picnic table while sorting through our new goodies.