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PCT 2015 Day 58: Back in the Mountains

  • Start: 906.7
  • End: 922.9
  • Miles: 16.2
  • Camp: Thousand Island Lake

We had resolved to get an early breakfast and head for the first Red’s Meadow shuttle which left at 8am from the Village, a trolley ride from town. We were at the town trolley stop by 7:30 all ready to get up to the Village…and found the town trolley doesn’t run til 9am. Oops. We tried hitchhiking whilst walking, when a bus pulled into the bus stop ahead of us and looked like it was waiting for us. We ran for it not knowing exactly what it was, but it turned out to be the first Red’s Meadow shuttle on his way from the depot to the village for the first run! The driver Shade let us on board and things worked out perfectly.

Departing Red’s Meadow, we followed an easy trail into Devil’s Postpile National Monument so we could take advantage of being so close by and take a proper look. The columnar basalt reminded me of the columns in Fife by the Elie Chain Walk, far larger in scope though. The columns formed when a lava flow cooled, and the uneven cooling means whilst most are hexagonal, there are some 4, 5 and 7 sided columns. They are huge, which we only realised when we took the trail to walk over the top of the rock pile. Tired already!  

Rejoining the PCT, we had an easy climb up to Agnew Meadows. A rather panicked looking woman warned us that we needed bug spray for the next section and she didn’t have any and had a horrendous time. At this point in the trail, most of our systems are working great including our bug protection system: 95% DEET.

The Agnew Meadows trail took us up a steeper climb, but we made excellent time at 3mph pace! The views were over the Ritter range of mountains, dark and craggy with some needles that must make excellent climbing. It looks quite different to the mountains we are surrounded by day to day.

We met Roy and Drago (his dog) briefly whilst eating lunch, though they left immediately owing to the thunderstorm clearly coming our way. We knew we couldn’t outrun it but we weren’t keen to get too wet so we hiked fast and caught up with them again. Eventually we all found a tree which provided really good shelter from the rain and stopped to wait for it to subside as it has quickened. Roy is out for a short trip and has been fishing to supplement his food supply. Drago is a wonderful dog, full of energy and intelligence, snapping at flies. He is only small, around 50lb, so doesn’t eat as much as some of the other dogs I have seen on the trail, making it easier for him to carry his own food. 

At the end of the day we arrived at Thousand Island Lake. Maybe not 1,000 islands, but certainly quite a few. A unique lake, and we have seen a few by now! Roy wanted to camp with us but there were no real tent spaces close to the PCT and we weren’t keen to walk a huge distance around the lake knowing we have to get over Donahue Pass tomorrow, so we said goodbye and wished him luck with his evening fishing. Certainly the lake looks promising, with fish jumping every few seconds. I wonder if I could catch one in my hat…

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