Today we took the Oregon Skyline Trail, which went by a lot more water than the PCT which had nothing nice for several miles. It was slightly flatter, and slightly shorter too, which meant we could cover more miles and get further down the trail.
We met White Russian at the first water stop, heading southbound but not terribly helpful with information from further up the trail! He couldn’t remember a creek that we had seen on the water report as flowing strongly, but he declined a copy of the water report when offered. Weird dude.
The trail was mostly through sparse forest with skinny trees that creaked in the breeze. Underfoot, it was dusty but for the most part not so soft and sandy that it made walking unpleasant. The miles went quickly and we were soon lunching on the cold pizza from Mazama Village by the creek.
In the afternoon, we had a long steady climb with several false summits. We could see blue sky through the trees but then the trail turned in a new direction and headed further uphill. Horses had dug up the trail so the dirt was soft and hard going, and it was hot with little shade from the sparse trees.
Once at the top of the hill, we found shade and made it down into Shelter Cove pretty quickly. We ordered food, and intended to spend around half an hour with the wifi and tables before heading out to camp up the hill. Our plans were thwarted by the store assistants needing three attempts to cook a pot pie which had directions printed on the bottom of the box.
Still, the extra time gave us an opportunity to get news of the Washington fires. Right now it does not look like there is a way to hike to Canada. Enough trails are closed and the highways that the detours use are closing for construction soon. It could all change again but I’m starting to prepare myself for not being able to reach Canada.
Once we finally got out, after waiting for a pie that wasn’t still frozen, we stormed uphill to Rosary lakes. We made 1.5 miles in 20 minutes, although we had to slow down when it got dark. The dirt looked flat in the weak LED light from my head torch and I couldn’t make out the rocks and roots on the trail. Still, we made it to a breezy, chilly campsite by the lake before hiker midnight at 9pm. Not bad.
Miles: 36 (minus 5 for the shorter Oregon Skyline Trail)
Camping: Mile 1917