Rain rain rain. It rained all morning, from the moment we set out up the hill from Panther Creek. Thankfully it had at least been dryish whilst we packed up camp. It didn’t last long.
We arrived at the Crest Horse Camp around lunchtime, cold and wet and I was looking forward to a brief moment when I could shelter in the outhouse. On the small forest road that passed the camp there were many more cars than I’d expected. We had only passed 2 day hikers during the morning and I assumed that the weather kept most people away. But the trailhead was full, and several people came and went as we ate lunch in the shelter of the outhouse porch. We decided to try to get a ride into Trout Lake to dry out. Half an hour later, Rich drove by with his wife Julia who was giving her sister Jill a tour of the area. They took us into town, and to top this we also got shown the lava fields and the mountains on the way!
As we came over the east side of the hill the weather improved dramatically, and it was sunny and warm in town. However the rain had pushed a lot of hikers off the trail, and we were lucky to get the last available room in town. As soon as we began to rush down the road to confirm the reservation we were hailed by a passing truck, the driver shouting at us to hop in the back. So we did! Less than two minutes later we arrived and checked in and spread out all the wet gear to dry. The Valley Inn had loaner bikes to get to the gas station where we made a beeline for the attached cafe to eat hamburgers and huckleberry pie with ice cream. A better end to the day than I’d thought at the outset!
Camping: Mile 2206, Trout Lake (not camping)