Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 121-2,000 Miles Done

From mile 1990 to mile 2008

The trail angels that we camped with a couple nights back warned us that the upcoming trail was lava rock with no shade and a good deal of climbing. They recommended an early start. We got on trail before 7:30 feeling a little groggy-even the most relaxing town stops are tiring.

After a half mile the trail left the little wooded area (after passing many campsites just as good as ours) and entered the lava fields. The lava is like being on the moon-it's really cool-for about a mile. Then it is exhausting to walk on. The small rocks.shift underfoot, they are easy to stumble on, the walking is slower, and attention has to be paid to each step. There also wasn't any shade-the few trees standing were dead gnarled tree trunks.  It was cool, but I was happy to see another island of forest up ahead.

Two of the Sisters overlooking lava rocks
The forest was a little deceiving-behind a row of pines were burnt and twisted trees that offered no shade. It seemed like a very lonely speck of forest, yet a deer had walked the trail before us.

Ahead we had great views of Mount Washington as the peak grew larger. Behind the Sisters were still keeping watch, but were shrinking with each mile. We followed the trail uphill and closer to Washington until it seemed like we were standing on the mountain's flank. And then just like that we were past the mountain and on our way to the 2,000 mile mark.

Someone had been impatient to reach the 2,000 mile mark and had made the sign .2 miles south of the actual 2,000 mile mark. We hardly stopped to look at the impostor, but continued the .2. When we got there there was no marker so Portrait set about building one while I sat in the shade on a log. When he was done I joined him for some pictures. Oddly enough the 2,000 mile point didn't feel any different than the other recent markers. I remember how excited I was for the 1,000 mile mark, but today I felt none of that excitement. Maybe it was because I wanted lunch and still had a ways to go before it was time to eat.

Oops and Gone Fishing studying fire detour maps
At Big Lake Youth Camp I picked up my resupply box and settled in for a celebratory lunch of town food. I had a spinach salad kit (it came with all the fixings) and two slices of pizza. It made for a very tasty meal out in the woods.

Once I repacked my resupply my pack was bulging. Portrait and I headed back on the .8 side trail to the PCT. My pack was heavy and I could feel it in every joint.
Mount Washington
We stopped once before the other road to Sisters for snacks, and again at the road to read a register there (but the cooler was empty). On the other side of the road was a water cache and a small parking area with a pit toilet, trash can, picnic table, and thru-hikers. Portrait and I didn't stay long. At that point it was getting late. I knew if I stayed at the table for dinner I wouldn't hike on, so I resisted the lovely call of the table.

After the picnic area the trail went through a burn area. I think it goes on for awhile and it didn't look promising for camping. The ground seemed lumpy and slanted. The spot we found may not be the best, but I doubt it will make it on the list of the worst camping place.

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