I had a blast at the wedding back east but was itching to get back on trail. Colin had decided to hike on ahead of me in hopes of getting better weather in Washington. But, Cali was with me now!!! Which I was super excited about. She hiked for two weeks in the High Sierras before the wedding and then jumped up to join me for the rest of the way to Canada. We started where I left off at Castle Crags and hiked through the trinity Alps and the Marble Mountains. The last 200 miles of California was incredible as we hiked along ridge lines carved into mountains with expansive views the whole way. We made stops in Etna and Seid Valley along the way which were great little trail towns. We hopped from lake to lake swimming, relaxing and having campfires every night.
This is how Cali ended up getting her trail name Lake Break. Every night when we sat down to plan the next day she would search though the maps and see where all the lakes were and then continue to plan the whole day around them from our breaks to where we would camp.
We had a dog follow us for a few days which we called Marbles after the mountains we found her in. When we got to town we turned her over to a local that said would find her owner for us. In Seid I ordered the Pancake challenge, which is five pounds of pancakes!!!
They were delicious, but I was only able to down one and a half of them. So we ended up packing out three pounds of pancakes that night up to a lookout above town. It was an amazing camp spot, we showed up just after sunset and our friends Emily and Seminole already had a fire going on the point. We laid out and admired the bright starry sky. Because of taking a few weeks off I have found myself in a whole new group of hikers, it has been great to meet so many new people and also read about the whereabouts of who I was hiking with in the log books.
Whooo Hoooo We made it to Oregon!!!
It felt so good to cross the border. It felt like a giant milestone to complete all 1700 miles of California. Crossing that day brought back so many memories of the trip so far. From starting in the dry desert to the lush High Sierras; getting stronger as I went and increasing my miles up to 30 miles a day, and all the people I have met along the way and the friendships that I have made. California was a long state but it was an amazing one.
Strolling through Cruisy Oregon
Upon entering Oregon Cali had brought Snakes, so we lit them off to celebrate the border crossing. I instantly felt a change when we started hiking in Oregon, somehow everything just felt a little different. We quickly stopped in Ashland to resupply food and then took off to meet my Dad and brother at Willamette Pass. We had initially intended to meet them at Crater Lake but realized that there is no water sources anywhere near the place so we decided to up our miles to meet them at a spot where there were lakes everywhere. We were doing between 25 and 30 miles per day which is more then Cali had ever done but she did amazing and was always pushing to do more miles, it made me tired. We got to Crater Lake and realized that we had an extra day so we decided to take a nero ( near 0 mile day) and camped on the rim of the lake. It was the best camp site off the whole trip so far.
We had breakfast at the lodge and sat out on the deck in the morning then hiked 5 miles on the rim and had camp set up by 2pm and just relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of the area. We woke up early to catch the sunrise over the lake and then set off back into the woods in the drizzling rain.
Leaving crater lake was like going through an obstacle course as we hopped and swerved around a jungle gym of downed trees. We passed by Mt Thielson and the high point of the Oregon Washington section of the PCT standing at a towering 7,560ft.
Just past it we found a great campsite on a ledge overlook…stunning! A couple of days later we met up with my Dad and brother Pat. It was an awesome four days of hiking with them as we went from lake to lake swimming and enjoying each others company. We ended up doing 45 miles in three days, including a 19 mile day. This was more then I was planning on making my Dad do but the dude abides, crushing the PCT.
We got to Elk Lake where my Dad and brother took off and I met up with Cali and her family in Bend. I decided to join their family vacation down to Crater Lake where we biked the 33 mile Rim Road around the lake. It was an awesome ride as we got views of the lake from every angle. We even hiked down to the lake and went for a swim and had lunch.