Mile 1995.1 to mile 2010.9 (15.8 miles, 25.4 km)
Camped by the lake with only the tent inner setup I woke to a saturated quilt. You’ll always get cold air settle down low over night, especially adjacent to lakesides, creeks or out in the open. I should have expected this but given the pain in my ankle last night all I wanted to do was get horizontal and rest it so I didn’t give it a lot of thought.
No worries though. Breakfast isn’t served at the Youth Camp until 9am so there was plenty of time to dry my gear in the morning sun, do my laundry and inventory my food so I knew exactly what to buy in Sisters.
I had my laundry set out front of the washer as there was already a load going and during breakfast someone combined their load with mine and had the washer going. In turn I put the whole load in the dryer after it was washed. However, after the dryer cycle I pulled the clothes out to find that the other persons washing was already gone. Perhaps they were keen to get going for the day or preferred to dry them in the sun. Who knows? Anyway, I found that they had inadvertently taken one of my two pairs of socks. They did look similar to their socks so no suspicious motives involved I’m certain. Oh well. I was headed to Sisters and just had to add that to the list of things to do – buy a new pair.
This was fortunate as after hiking out to the highway (by the way my ankle came pretty good overnight which is great, I was worried I might have to take a couple of days off) and getting a quick hitch into town, it brought me to Hike n Peaks outdoor store where I met the lovely store owner Sharee. This is a new store, only 12 months old, and slowly showing up on PCT hikers radar. Straight away I was offered a free beer, shared great conversation whilst I sipped away. Apparently I’m the first Aussie of the season to come through the shop. Behind the counter is a map of the world and pins showing where all the other hikers coming through call home. There is now a solitary pin over Australia marking Gippsland. I got my socks as well.
I moved on to grab some pizza and a milkshake for lunch and hit up the supermarket for a quick resupply. I didn’t need much for it’s only two days to the next resupply location. Very happy to have a lighter pack without four or five days food.
Returning to the highway I only had to wait around 10 minutes for a hitch back out. A class of 2016 PCTer who was driving by after trail angelling a couple of friends up near Mount Hood saw my “To PCT” sign and pulled straight over. I forget his trail name – something about trouble.
Back at the Santiam Pass trail head at around 2:30pm I had enough time to get in another ten miles or so but didn’t want to push things. I was keen to take it easy and test the ankle.
Initially, this morning I was going to take half the day off in Sisters but reaching town I found there was a music festival on and all accommodation was fully booked up. I wasn’t keen to camp in a tent in town, preferring to hike out and camp in the hills if I had to camp at all.
The afternoon was great. Cooler temp, sunny with a bit of breeze. The terrain was easy enough and I had no ankle issues whatsoever.
I ended up doing just ten miles and was completely happy with that. I found a campsite not marked on any of the apps or maps and it’s perfect. Perched up high in some limited tree cover in amongst another burnt forest, I have spectacular views over Wasco Lake below.
As I write this I’m enjoying dinner while watching brooding storms and rain out to the east and another amazing sunset. Where else would you rather be?